JUDGE  OKs MAYWEATHER BOUT MAY 5; ARUM CONSIDERING ALL POSSIBILITIES

MANILA, JANUARY 9, 2011 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Instead of going to jail, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (photo) is going to the gym.

Yes, he will fight on May 5, as he had wanted, as he had planned, as he had scheduled, after Las Vegas judge Melissa Sarasoga postponed the jail sentence of the undefeated American boxer until June.

Mayweather, who was sentenced 90 days in prison and another 90 days extended for a domestic violence case in 2010, was supposed to report to the Clark County Detention Center yesterday.

It was supposed to be his first day in jail, in a cell no bigger than the comfort room of his own mansion, but what greeted him was news that the judge had given him the go signal to fight on May 5.

It was the best news he’d heard for himself for quite some time.

However, it may not concern the fight the whole world wants to see, not yet, not the one against Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao, who is also eyeing May or June for his next fight.

Pacquiao, however, said he’s still hoping for the best, and that means he’s hoping that the fight happen.

“I hope that negotiations will push thru and comes into a positive fruition,” he said in a text message.

However, his promoter, Bob Arum, gave two reasons why Pacquiao vs Mayweather, which should break all existing records in boxing, may not happen in May in Las Vegas.

One, the Top Rank chief said they still have to determine whether Pacquiao’s cut over his right eye, a nasty one suffered during the Juan Manuel Marquez fight last November, had fully healed.

“It’s being considered. Everything is being considered,” Arum told The STAR a couple of days ago, meaning if the old cut poses danger, Pacquiao may be forced to drop May in his plans.

And two, Arum said it’s not logical to hold the most awaited fight of this generation at the 16,000-seat MGM Grand in Las Vegas, saying it has to happen in a venue at least twice as big.

“We’ll be leaving millions upon millions of dollars on the table if we did that,” Arum told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports upon news of the judge granting Mayweather the right to fight in May.

Arum said everybody should consider the possibility being discussed by Las Vegas bigwigs Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson regarding the putting up of a temporary arena, a 40,000-seater, at The Strip.

But Arum also told Yahoo! Sports if this was to be considered, then May 5 may not be the right time to stage the fight that could easily generate $200 million in revenues.

Arum is arriving in the Philippines on Jan. 10 to sit down with Pacquiao. An announcement is expected to come before the Top Rank chief flies home on Jan. 14.

Pacquiao had fought twice at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, with a seating capacity of a little over 100,000, but there’s no way in the world Las Vegas would let superfight slip away, in case it happens.

For one, a big factor that led to the judge’s surprise ruling was the point raised by Mayweather’s lawyer, Richard Wright, that a Mayweather fight in May could boost the Vegas economy by at least $100 million.

He’s right.

Pacquiao had already said he wants to fight Mayweather on May 5, and that he was even willing to get a smaller share of the purse so the superfight, which almost happened twice, finally pushes through.

But the jail sentence on Mayweather came along, and the reigning WBO welterweight champion has started looking at another opponent for May or June.

Pacquiao is looking at Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Tim Bradley and Lamont Peterson, but the other day he said he’s open to a fourth fight with Marquez, whom he defeated last November.

But Pacquiao said that will only happen if he is given a guaranteed purse of $28 million. Marquez, who felt he was robbed of another win last November, should get around $10 million for a fourth fight.

Marquez has set his own condition: that the fight is not held in Las Vegas.

Mayweather, on his part, is looking at Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as his next opponent. His handlers from Golden Boy, led by Richard Schaefer, said the undefeated Alvarez should be a good choice.

“Canelo very much wants the fight, I can promise you that,” Schaefer said of the reigning WBC super-welterweight king from Jalisco in Mexico.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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