Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has done just about everything he can over the last couple months to make the “fight of the century” happen with superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. The only thing he can do now is wait on Mayweather’s decision and prepare for alternative plans.

According to ESPN.com, Top Rank boxing promoter Bob Arum has indicated that he and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer have set up a contract that satisfies both Pacquiao and Mayweather, including a 50/50 revenue split and random blood testing for drugs. As requested by Pacquiao’s camp, Mayweather now has until July 16 to sign the dotted line or the international favorite will prepare to take on another fighter.

“We’re ready to go on with the Mayweather fight,” Arum told ESPN reporters. “But we have to make contingency plans just in case and I don’t really want to talk about that too much.

“But Mayweather has until the end of the week. He could wait until the last minute. If it’s Friday and it’s 11 p.m., and he says we have a deal, we have a deal.”

Arum expressed that he believes Mayweather will sign the contract, but Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz insists that his client prepare negotiations for other fights just in case Mayweather says no.

“We’re waiting on Floyd,” Arum told ESPN. “He might not want to fight again this year. If he wants to say, ‘See you next year,’ there’s always next year. But I don’t think we can’t wait much longer for him to make up his mind because if we do the fight we want to make it as big as we can make it, and that takes time. I think Floyd will give us the courtesy of a response one way or the other. What that response will be, I really don’t know.”

Koncz says he discussed with Arum the possibilities of Pacquiao taking on former welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito or he may do a rematch with Miguel Cotto.

“We haven’t heard back from Floyd yet and if we don’t in the next few days, we will enter into a deal with one of the other fighters,” Koncz said, as stated on ESPN.com.

“Bob and I have spoken about both Cotto and Margarito. We will have a done deal and a signed contract for a fight by the end of this month, whoever it’s against − Mayweather, Cotto or Margarito.”

Arum told ESPN that if Pacquiao does a rematch with Cotto, it would be for the WBA belt. Cotto earned the WBA junior middleweight championship on June 5 in a successful bounce-back victory after falling to Pacquiao in 2009.

But if Pacquiao fights Margarito, instead, Arum told reporters that the two would fight for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title. Since Margarito lost his license to fight in the U.S., that fight would more than likely take place on international grounds.

But Cotto and Margarito are still only backup plans. Arum says he knows what fight fans really want to see.

“That’s the fight we want and that’s the fight we’re in for,” Arum said, “but if we can’t do that fight there are other opponents.”

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor