Bob Arum is gearing up for the June 5 showdown at Yankee Stadium, pitting two Top Rank fighters, Yuri Foreman of Brooklyn and Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico, against each other. On Tuesday, Arum was at the famed and fabled Gleasons Gym in Brooklyn, watching Foreman do a workout for press. He weighed in on the importance of having high profile bouts in mega stadiums, and termed the Cotto-Foreman fight a 50-50 flip of the coin special. But not too much time passed before Arum, who is still basking in the glow of Manny Pacquiaos Congressional win, was asked if Pacquaio-Mayweather would go down on Nov. 13 in Texas, as he desires.
The ball is firmly in Mayweathers court, the promoter told TSS. He didnt specify on the who, what, when and where of negotiations, but Arum said he communicated to Team Mayweather that Pacman will agree to drug testing 14 days before a fight, as was requested by Team Mayweather in the last, disastrous round of negotiations. And, has Team Mayweather responded?
Nothing, Arum said. Havent heard a word. The ball is completely in Mayweathers court. Every term has been agreed to. Cynics who think Mayweather is looking to erect unpassable hurdles, so this fight wont go down, suspect that Mayweather will try and use his last showing, physically and financially, to put forward new demands to Team Pacquiao. Like, my fight against Mosley did so much better than yours against Clottey, I deserve that much bigger slice of the pie. So far, a re-slicing of the pie hasnt been suggested to Arum, he said. Its still a 50-50 split, he said.
As of today, Arum said, no meeting is scheduled with Team Mayweather, ie Al Haymon, Richard Schaefer and Leonard Ellerbe, so dont expect a breakthrough soon. Pacquiao will be in New York early next week, with his whole family, giving them a taste of the NYC tourist experience, so hopefully well have movement by then. Arum has not, he said, put Plan B aka Antonio Margarito versus Pacquiao, into high gear. The Master of the Plaster Disaster would still need to be re-licensed in the US, so thats one hurdle to that bout, but indications are that hell be able to get the okay to fight in the States by the end of the year.
Foremans affable backer, NYC restaurant owner Murray Wilson, was at Gleasons. He said that if his guys gets the better of Cotto, which he expects, a showdown with Margarito would make sense. If that goes well, then a bout with Pacquiao is on his wish list. He almost had that locked down before Clottey got the date, and was about to sign the deal with Arum when Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz sent word that Foreman was out as an opponent, even though Freddie Roach had given the thumbs up. Koncz said no, Yuri was too big, Wilson told TSS. Yuri didnt grow overnight. Freddie agreed to it.
Wilson said that Cotto ex cornerman Miguel Diaz, who was let go by Cotto because he didnt inspect Margaritos hands before they fought, has said, The only time Cotto is going to touch Foreman is during the glove touch before the bout.
SPEEDBAG Arum is pumped to do more of these big stadium fights. Hes eyeing Dodger Stadium, perhaps for a Juan Manuel Lopez/Rafael Marquez bout, for next year.
—Foremans gorgeous wife, model Leyla Leidecker, was at Gleasons, checking on her guy. She directed a documentary about women fighting in the NY Golden Gloves, and she said its available on Netflix. Heres the URL to tell you more about it. http://www.goldenglovesmovie.com/
–Arum will get roasted, er, toasted by the Friars Club in NYC next week. Ex footballer Jim brown, and hulking Canadian ex heavyweight George Chuvalo will be there to honor the 78-year-old Brooklyn-born dealmaker.