When Manny Pacquiao signed a two-year extension with his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions on Tuesday it slammed the door on any chance for the most anticipated boxing match in the sport today.
That’s because Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has vowed to never fight Pacquiao as long as he in under contract with Arum, who once promoted Mayweather until the two had an acrimonious split. So say goodbye to Mayweather-Pacquiao and file it under “Great Fights That Never Happened.’’
"It's a two-year extension, and there might be more than five fights," Arum said of Pacquiao’s new extension. "There's one fight under the current contract, which will be in November, and there will be a minimum of four fights within the next two years. We'll play it by ear."
Arum may be playing it by ear, but it’s a tune that most boxing fans don’t want to hear if Pacquiao’s future doesn’t involve a fight with Mayweather. It’s highly unlikely that Pacquiao will make it through five fights and finish out the contract that runs through 2016. Pacquiao is a congressman for his home province in the Philippines and he has been talking about making politics a full-time career for the last couple years.
Mayweather has said he plans to retire from boxing once he finished his current deal with Showtime, which has three more matches remaining and at this pace of two fights per year would conclude in September 2015.
Mayweather, who defeated Marcos Maidana on May 3, announced on Tuesday that his next fight would be on September 13. But he did not name an opponent. A rematch with Maidana is possible. Some other names circling are welterweight champions Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, Amir Khan and junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia.
Arum told RingTV.com that Pacquiao won’t lack for opponents either. Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley in a rematch for the WBO welterweight title last month. He has a mandatory defense against Juan Manuel Marquez, who defeated Mike Alvarado last week. Pacquiao and Marquez have fought four times with Marquez winning the last meeting by knockout.
Arum mentioned the winner of the upcoming Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez middleweight championship fight as a possible future opponent for Pacquiao, though Pacquiao has never fought anyone bigger than 154 pounds.
"The fact is that there are plenty of future guys for Manny to fight…he can fight Ruslan Provodnikov," Arum said. "There are a lot guys that are out there because there are guys developing all the time who are serious, serious competitors including hopefully and obviously Floyd Mayweather. Manny has many, many possible opponents."
Apparently Arum didn’t get the memo from Mayweather about him never fighting Pacquiao as long as the Filipino star has a contract with Top Rank. Or perhaps Arum doesn’t believe Mayweather is being truthful.
The truth is Pacquiao and Mayweather is really the only fight that makes sense (and dollars) for both men. It is the only fight on the horizon that will generate the 2 million-plus Pay Per View buys that Mayweather seeks. And it is the only fight that can give both men what they need to cement their legacies and put a stamp on their Hall of Fame careers.
But now that Pacquiao has signed a promotional extension with Arum the fight will never happen. It’s a shame that a fight that boxing fans have been craving for years won’t happen because the two men that can make it happen – Arum and Mayweather - can’t put aside their differences.