Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. talks to a referee while watching the Clippers… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
Hours after Floyd Mayweather Jr. urged Manny Pacquiao to "step up punk" and fight him May 5, the Filipino boxing star answered with his own message:
Just wait a few more weeks.
Pacquiao huddled with his promoter Bob Arum on Wednesday in the Philippines and agreed the best course for pursuing a long-awaited fight date against Mayweather is to schedule it for late May, or, ideally, June 9.
Mayweather faces a June 1 date to report for an already delayed 90-day jail term in a domestic violence case, but Arum said he'd be "willing to chip in for lawyers' fees" to get that date moved again so a June 9 bout could occur.
Mayweather is scheduled to fight May 5 in Las Vegas against an as-yet unnamed opponent. "June 9 is perfect," Arum said. "May 5 is out, that's impossible."
The extra time is needed for construction of an arena, said Arum, claiming the fighters could generate an extra $40 million by fighting at a 40,000-plus-seat venue on the Las Vegas Strip rather than holding the bout at the 16,000-seat MGM. "You don't throw $40 million away," Arum said.
Arum said he's skeptical of Mayweather's Tuesday Twitter posts urging Pacquiao to "step up punk." Mayweather tweeted, "Manny Pacquiao I'm calling you out let's fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see." Arum said he has heard Mayweather is negotiating with Robert Guerrero for a May 5 fight.
After giving Pacquiao videos of possible opponents Miguel Cotto and Lamont Peterson, Arum expects Pacquiao to choose among those two, Timothy Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez as an alternate opponent to Mayweather before the promoter leaves the country this weekend.
What does Arum want from the Mayweather camp?
"I want to hear… that they're willing to move to June 9," Arum said. "Then we can sit down and work out a deal."