Not long after the final bell rang on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez III welterweight title fight Saturday night, which ended in a majority decision for Pacquiao, the buzz began for the mega-fight the whole world wants to see.
Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather. When will it happen? Will it happen at all?
It could be the richest fight of all time and has been in the public consciousness for years now, with both sides alternately pushing for it and not talking.
Remember the chaos two summers ago? Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, and then-HBO Sports boss Ross Greenburg said negotiation for a mega-fight happened; Mayweather’s “Money Team” said those talks never happened. We may never know.
Greenburg is long gone, but the fight over The Fight rages on.
Mayweather now wants The Fight, and Golden Boy, which represents Floyd, has May 5, 2012, reserved at the MGM Grand for the mega-battle.
And, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Top Rank wants no part of it, instead opting to explore Pacquiao-Marquez IV.
“After the Marquez fight, I felt, because I know Bob (Arum) can have these (expletive) attacks, I felt it would make sense to have an independent mediator, someone who is respected by both parties,” Schaefer said by phone Wednesday. “We asked Judge (Daniel) Weinstein, the retired judge who has mediated many issues between us.
“I was informed by Judge Weinstein that Top Rank is currently pursuing a rematch with Marquez and is not interested in immediate talks to set the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
“(Arum) made comments to other media sites that a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would still be around in November. My response to that is, ‘so is the Marquez fight.’ “
Does Mayweather really want to make that fight?
“Absolutely, that’s the fight he wants to do,” Schaefer said. “That’s why I said, ‘let’s get together, let’s get it done.’ For them to refuse to even sit down and discuss the fight, are we saying we don’t want to discuss the fight? No, they are saying that. They’re saying they want to go and fight Marquez first.”
Top Rank president Todd duBoef says it’s too soon after the Pacquiao-Marquez fight to be thinking about a mega-fight.
“I’m very disappointed when things are put out in the press,” duBoef said. “We said we are not dismissing any fight right now, (but) we aren’t prepared to discuss anything because we have a process.
“Manny is on his way back to the Philippines. We’re not dismissing any opportunity, and … eventually what happens is we sit down as a team — (trainer) Freddie (Roach), Manny, Bob — and we discuss what the options are. And 48 hours after the fight, we’re not ready to discuss.”
Schaefer says Mayweather is the world’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter now, “given what transpired last weekend.” Therefore, he should be calling the shots.