By Nick Giongco
Promoter Bob Arum feels something strange is about to happen in the negotiations to finally formalize the March 13, 2010 super showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. “I think Richard (Schaefer) has an agenda,” Arum told Manila Bulletin and Fightnews early yesterday afternoon (late Wednesday night in the US), referring to the Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) Chief Executive Officer who represents Mayweather in dealing with Arum’s Top Rank Inc.
An inspection tour of the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas and a meeting with the stadium owner, Texas billionaire Jerry Jones, had been penciled for Wednesday by Arum, Schaefer and HBO Sports executive Ross Greenburg. But a call to Arum by Schaefer on Tuesday night–as Arum was celebrating his 78th birthday–ruined the promoter’s special day.
Arum has been very upbeat and vocal the past week after securing the go-signal from Pacquiao in Manila to continue holding talks with Schaefer so an announcement can be made soon.
In fact, Arum even talked with Schaefer on the phone on Monday, disclosing that everything is right on track.
“I am very disillusioned,” said Arum, who is at a loss as to what move to make next.
While Arum did not say that negotiations have fallen apart, the stunning development did put talks on hold as Arum had been quoted that an announcement is forthcoming.
A major press conference with Pacquiao and Mayweather in attendance was being planned for Jan. 6 in New York in lieue of a lengthy publicity tour.
Now that Dallas appears to be out of the race–the MGM Grand in Las Vegas–has strengthened its chances of landing the mega much match even if there are other offers from Atlanta, New Orleans and even Los Angeles, which is dangling a $20 million offer to hold the fight at the Staples Center.
“We’ll see, we’ll see,” mumbled Arum when asked about what’s likely to happen next.