Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he's open to any fights with Manny Pacquiao, including a potential pair of bouts in 2013 with Floyd Mayweather.
Obviously we've heard all of this a million times, but he said it, so here it is:
"Pacquiao will have another fight this year and then look forward to maybe fighting two fights with Mayweather next year. ... I don’t think anybody on Mayweather’s side could commit him now for a fight because you don’t understand how debilitating it is living in prison, eating that kind of food."
Mayweather (43-0, 26 KO) won on May 5 against Miguel Cotto in what was probably the best-received "mega-fight" event in boxing since Pacquiao-Cotto in 2009, and perhaps further back than that. Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KO) on the other hand was on the bad end of some controversial scoring on June 9, dropping a split decision to Timothy Bradley.
To further complicate things, Mayweather is currently in jail, where he was recently denied an early release. It's not known if Floyd will fight again in 2012, but it certainly wouldn't be surprising to see him stay on the sidelines even when he's released, probably in about a month.
Pacquiao is currently slated to return on November 10, with Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez as the leading candidates to face him.
Do you have any sense that the time is right for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight? Manny just lost to Bradley, and controversial or not, robbery or not, I think it's pretty clear that the clock is really, really ticking on The Fight now -- these guys, particularly Manny, have taken backwards steps in the ring due to normal aging, wear and tear, and just the tough life that is having been a boxer for nearly two decades in both cases.
Do you think Arum is serious about wanting to make a genuine effort to turn this fight into reality? Or is this just more of the same?