The fight the world’s been waiting for, may finally happen.
Floyd Mayweather’s advisor Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN.com Wednesday that the undefeated, five-division champ is eyeing May 5 for a showdown against pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao.
“We’re looking to make the biggest fight possible and everyone knows what that fight is, the little fella,” Ellerbe said in his interview with ESPN. “We had a discussion, Floyd, me and Al (Haymon). Floyd made it very clear to us what he wanted to do. He told us he is looking to make the biggest fight that is out there and to make it in May.”
A few things must happen first before arguably the richest fight in boxing history—a bout which has been talked about for the last couple years, but fallen apart for a variety of reasons including the timing of drug testing—can be made.
The 32-year-old Pacquiao, the eight-division champ who has won his last 14 fights, must first defeat Juan Manuel Marquez in their trilogy fight (Pac-Man has fought to a draw and a split-decision victory in the two prior meetings) on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand.
The 34-year-old Mayweather, who is coming off a controversial victory over Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17, has a few legal issues he must address before stepping back in the ring.
The Las Vegas resident was cleared of misdemeanor harassment charges for allegedly threatening the lives of two security guards in the gated community where he lives last week. Mayweather is also scheduled to stand trial tomorrow on an unrelated misdemeanor battery charge for allegedly poking another homeowner association security guard in the face during a dispute over parking tickets. Mayweather has pleaded not guilty.
Mayweather, however, faces serious felony charges as well as misdemeanor counts in an alleged domestic dispute with his former girlfriend, who is the mother of two of his children. He is scheduled for a Dec. 21 evidence hearing and could face 34 years in prison if convicted in the case.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum told ESPN on Thursday that he found Mayweather and Ellerbe’s comments and timing amusing, and said any talk of a superfight between the two can be discussed after Pacquiao’s fight against Marquez.
“Listen, we’re not going to consider anything until after the Marquez fight,” Arum said. “The way they are going about it seems like a bizarre way to go about it. If you want to put it together, you meet, you talk. You don’t just come out and say, ‘The fight is May 5 at the MGM.’ What kind of negotiation is that? So I don’t take what they said seriously.
“I think it’s Floyd’s way of trying to grab a little bit of the spotlight away from Manny. I’m not going to get upset. I take it with a grain of salt. When they want to do some serious negotiating somebody will call me or (Top Rank president) Todd (duBoef) and we will sit down and talk. It’s obviously a fight we want to make.”
Although the first weekend in May, a traditional big fight weekend for Vegas, is still seven months away, Ellerbe said Mayweather wanted to make his plans known so promotion for such a big fight could begin.
“We have to plan any time you’re the biggest star in the sport,” said Ellerbe of Mayweather, whose fight against Ortiz drew 1.25 million pay-per-view buys.
“You have to plan in advance because his fights are events. In order to maximize the exposure you want to plan as far in advance as you can to make your event as big as possible. May 5, that is the date Floyd is fighting on. We have secured May 5 at the MGM. Floyd is excited to make his return.”