Bob Arum is keen on making the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight for Nov. 13, in either the Cowboys Stadium or the MGM, the exultant promoter said on a conference call to luxuriate in Mannys congressional win Monday. Its the fight Manny wants, the 78-year-old dealmaker said.
Arum said his weeklong trip to the Philippines, during which time he saw Manny giving speeches in seven different dialects, and rousing the masses, was a highlight of his career. The promoter joked that he might well give up the boxing biz, and hook on with the congressional squad. This is something special, we are blessed. I dont think theres anything more exciting than politics, he said. He likened the win to Mannys win over Oscar De La Hoya, when most media picked Oscar to blow away the Filipino. The promoter sounded jazzed up by the experience, and truly sounded like he might jump the boxing biz to the political arena, maybe getting Senator Harry Reid re-elected in Nevada.
Arum said that Mannys boxing shouldnt suffer, since hell be able to concentrate on the political sphere during his free time, at night. His time playing billiards will be curtailed, the promoter said, with a chuckle. The Senate at 35, and the Presidency at 40 could easily happen, Arum said. He made sure to note that Manny will be responsible for distributing hundreds of millions in funds to the province, so its not like the position is just a ceremonial post.
Bob, Im so proud of what I accomplished, Arum said Manny told him after the win. It is better than any boxing victory, the promoter said.
Arum didnt give any hints on whether Manny has softened or changed his stance on PED testing, as he didnt want to engage this round of negotiations in the press. He did say the lawsuit lodged against Team Mayweather for asserting that Manny uses PEDS, in their opinion, is still in play, but might be subject to withdrawal during negotiations. Were not going to negotiate this in the press, he said, several times.
But hundreds of people came up to him, he said, and wanted to know when the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight would go down. If that deal doesnt happen, and Arum wouldnt go on record to guess the likelihood, then a fight with Antonio Margarito in Texas is Plan B. The Mexican wouldnt need to be re-licensed in California, and could simply have his license to box in Texas okayed, if commission officials there are so inclined. Manny indicated that hed like to fight three more times, Arum stated. If Nov. 13 doesnt work, then Nov. 6 would be a target date.
This bout would be the biggest of this era, Arum said, but it wouldnt be fair to call it the biggest of all time, bigger than Frazier-Ali I, say, because we live in a different age. He mentioned this bout in the same vein as the Ali-Frazier tangle, Leonard-Duran and Leonard-Hagler. It would probably be the biggest fight of this era, probably the most anticipated, and would probably do the most dollar business, though its a different dollar now than then. Making the fight would be great but there are other things besides the fight, and my great, great dream would still be around, for Manny to be inaugurated the President of the Philippines, Arum said.