So much for that superfight.
Just two days after Manny Pacquiao held off Juan Manuel Marquez by a controversial decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the long-rumored megafight between Pac-Man and undefeated Floyd Mayweather won’t even be discussed, according to Mayweather’s representatives.
“All along we know why the fight isn’t being made. This is the perfect opportunity,” Mayweather’s advisor Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN. “Both guys just fought. This is the fight the fans want to see, and it's a disgrace that they are not willing to give the fans what they want.
“In my opinion, there are three reasons why Arum doesn’t want the fight. He knows there is no way that Manny Pacquiao can win, it kills his cash cow, and he wants to do in-house fights where he controls both sides. I said all along why this fight hasn’t been made to this point. Manny Pacquiao knows, Bob Arum knows and Freddie Roach knows.”
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who has worked with Mayweather to promote past fights told ESPN that Mayweather’s camp received an email from retired federal judge Daniel Weinstein, who was acting as a mediator between the two sides to make the richest fight in boxing history, that said Top Rank is not interested in a fight against Mayweather.
“We have been informed that Bob Arum is not interested in pursuing a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao at this time,” Schaefer said. “This is obviously as clear as it can be that they have no intentions of making a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Therefore, Floyd Mayweather will have no other choice than to move on and identify and lock in another opponent for his ring return on May 5.”
Arum told ESPN he did not know about the e-mail, but did say he was trying to secure a rematch with Marquez for a fourth fight between the two.
But on Tuesday in an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Arum didn't rule out a bout against Mayweather, but said he would not talk about a fight at the present time.
“Our position is simple and that is that right now, we’re not ready to talk,” Arum told Yahoo. “I'm in Los Angeles now, but Im flying to New York in a couple of hours. I have a big fight to promote on Dec. 3 (Miguel Cotto fights Antonio Margarito at.”
“Manny is on his way back to the Philippines today. In a few weeks, whether it’s a (Juan Manuel) Marquez rematch, a Mayweather fight, a fight with Timothy Bradley, or whatever, we’ll sit down with the appropriate parties and talk. But we’re not ready to talk about it now.”
Boxing greats pay respect to Frazier
Some 4,000 people, including boxing legend Muhammad Ali, packed inside the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia for a two-hour funeral for former boxing champion Joe Frazier on Monday.
The man known as Smokin' Joe—who handed Ali his first loss in the “Fight of the Century” at Madison Square Garden in 1971, and fought two more memorable bouts with him including the “Thrilla in Manila”—died last week of liver cancer. Frazier was 67.
“Tell them Rocky was not a champion. Joe Frazier was,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, referring to Philly’s famous movie character that is immortalized with a statue outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“Tell them Rocky is fictitious, Joe was reality. Rocky’s fists are frozen in stone. Joe’s fists are smokin’. Rocky never faced Ali or Holmes or Foreman. Rocky never tasted his own blood. Champions are made in the ring not in the movies. There deserves to be a statue of Joe Frazier in downtown Philadelphia.”
Mike Tyson sent in a videotaped message of condolence, as did real estate mogul Donald Trump. Others in attendance were former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, fellow Philadelphia boxer and middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins and promoter Don King. Thousands of other mourners turned out Friday and Saturday for a public memorial at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.