Superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally spoke to the media about any possible deals on a match with Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, but it may not be what most fight-craving fans wanted to hear.
After being cornered by reporters at a celebrity charity basketball game hosted by NBA stars Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning in Miami on July 18, Mayweather told The Associated Press, “I’m not interested in rushing to do anything,” related to boxing.
The 33-year-old undefeated champion—who served as a coach for one of the teams during the charity basketball game—refused to answer several questions relating to a fight with Pacquiao, just as he chose not to respond to a deadline set by Pacquiao’s promoters.
On behalf of Pacquiao’s camp, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had told the media last week that Mayweather had until 12 a.m. July 17 to let them know if the fight was on for Nov. 13, but Mayweather let the deadline pass without a yes or no.
But some of his comments during Wade’s charity event perhaps explained Mayweather’s reasoning behind his silence.
“I’m not really thinking about boxing right now,” Mayweather told AP reporters. “I’m just relaxing. I fought about 60 days ago, so I’m just enjoying myself, enjoying life, enjoying my family and enjoying my vacation.”
Many boxing fans are frustrated with Mayweather for his seeming reluctance to fight Pacquiao immediately, especially since most recent reports suggest that both fighters have already agreed on all terms to make the fight happen. Arum recently told reporters that he never actually spoke to Mayweather about a deal with Pacquaio, but said he did speak with HBO representatives, who were acting as mediators since both fighters are hostile to each other. According to Arum, a deal was agreed on and all that was left to do was make it official. But Leonard Ellerbe, one of Mayweather’s closest advisers, said on July 19 that none of that is true.
“Here are the facts,” Ellerbe told ESPN reporters. “Al Haymon, Richard Schaefer and myself speak to each other on a regular basis, and the truth is no negotiations have ever taken place, nor was there ever a deal agreed upon by Team Mayweather or Floyd Mayweather to fight Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 13. Either Ross Greenburg or Bob Arum is not telling the truth, but history tells us who is lying.”
According to ESPN, Ellerbe was taking a shot at Arum, who has a reputation for stretching the truth when promoting fights. But Arum said that’s bull in his response to Ellerbe’s comments.
“If there is no negotiation, who imposed the gag order?” Arum told ESPN, citing an alleged agreement from both sides to not speak to the media about negotiations.
When the two fighters were talking about a possible fight earlier in 2010, negotiations fell apart due to the verbal shots they lobbed at each other in public. This time, Arum said, they agreed to not discuss negations with the public to safeguard the potential of the fight. But lately, it seems like everyone has been talking; even Mayweather’s father.
“My problem is, Bob Arum don’t call no shots,” Mayweather Sr. said in an On the Ropes Boxing Radio interview found on blogtalkradio.com.
“Bob Arum don’t call the shots. The fight can be made anytime they want the fight to be made. Little Floyd definitely ain’t scared of no Pacquiao. That’s the last thing in the world that little Floyd is scared of, a little Filipino midget. Definitely that’s not the case.”