[PHOTO AT LEFT -  ‘Pacman’, a Jack Russell terrier, keeps the Pinoy ring icon company in his early morning roadwork in Baguio. ANDY ZAPATA]

MANILA, OCTOBER 15, 2009 (STAR) Top Rank’s chief Bob Arum, American promoter of Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao, expressed doubt on the possibility of his prized ward facing Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a bout pitting two of the world’s top pound-for-pound fighters.

The top boxing executive said he’s having doubts that Pacquiao will take on Mayweather next if he gets past Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14 (Nov. 15 in Manila), citing problems that may possibly arise during negotiations.

“I don’t think (Pacquiao-Mayweather) will happen within the next year because of all of Mayweather’s posturing, the trash talk. That impedes any realistic negotiations. It would just be too difficult,” Arum told Michael Rosenthal of The Ring.

Even Pacquiao’s chief trainer Freddie Roach is on the same page as Arum.

“It seems like there’s a lot of things working against this fight ever happening,” Roach earlier told The Los Angeles Times. “It makes sense. It’d be a great fight, but it seems there’s a lot of distractions around it. I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

It was earlier reported that the issue of the purse split may derail a Pacquiao-Mayweather duel, as neither fighter is willing to settle for an equal sharing of the pot.

Mayweather came out of retirement to beat Juan Manuel Marquez – Pacquiao’s arch-nemesis – cruising to a lopsided victory last Sept. 19.

Asked if Pacquiao is doomed to suffer the same beating as Marquez if the Filipino goes up against Mayweather, Arum said the Filipino fighter has an entirely different style compared to Marquez’s.

“Styles make fights,” Arum said, citing an age-old boxing adage.

“Mayweather is a defensive specialist and Marquez is a counter puncher. Mayweather forced Marquez to be aggressive, which isn’t his game. Marquez needs his opponent to be aggressive. When Manny fought Marquez – and it’s not the same Manny now – Manny was the aggressor. Marquez was able to win a lot of rounds because he’s a good counter puncher,” he added.

Arum even provided additional examples to stress his point.

“Just because A beats B and B beats C, it doesn’t mean A will necessarily beat C. Look at the heavyweights from years ago. George Foreman could fight Joe Frazier and Ken Norton a hundred times each and the result would be the same, a Foreman knockout. Muhammad Ali could fight Frazier 100 times and every one would be a war. The same with Norton; he just couldn’t figure out his style. Then you put Ali in with Foreman and he’s able to knock him out. Manny is a different type of fighter than Marquez,” he said. – Contributor Dino Maragay

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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