MANILA, JANUARY 20, 2012 (STAR) By Abac Cordero (PHOTO - Bob Arum) - Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao said he is ready and willing to fight Floyd Mayweather late May or June 9 on a 50-50 share of the purse.

Pacquiao gave these options during last night’s People Asia Awards where he was accompanied by his consultant Michael Koncz.

“We’ve always wanted late May. If Floyd insists on May 5, Manny fights June 9 against someone else,” said Koncz. “Or they fight someone else, also in Vegas, and hope the Mayweather fight happens in November.”

At least, Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum are now on the same page that the best time and place to fight Mayweather is May or June 9 and at a 50-50 share.

The problem, however, is Mayweather is insisting on May 5, the day they must have told the judge he’s fighting Pacquiao.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum earlier yesterday said Pacquiao vs Mayweather Jr. won’t happen on May 5 in Las Vegas as the camp of the undefeated American wants.

“The fight is not going to happen on May 5th. We’ll do the fight in November. There is no real magic in doing it in May,” Arum told Sports Illustrated’s online version,

The Top Rank official is expected to make an announcement soon and identify who the Filipino superstar would fight next.

Before Arum left Manila last Saturday, he made Pacquiao choose from Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Tim Bradley and Lamont Peterson as Plan B in case Mayweather doesn’t come along.

It was reported that Pacquiao likes a rematch with Cotto, and if they hold the fight on June 9 it comes on the eve of the Puerto Rico Day in New York, on the second Sunday of June.

The same goes with the Mayweather camp, which may soon decide on their next opponent, most likely Canelo Alvarez.

Mayweather said he has no other date (May 5) and place (Las Vegas) in mind regarding the Pacquiao fight.

Arum has repeatedly given his reasons why he doesn’t like the fifth of May for the superfight, but has aired his willingness to do it the last week of May or early June.

The 80-year-old Arum, who has promoted some of the biggest and most memorable fights in history, wants Pacquiao to return to the ring on June 9.

He wants the fight to take place in Las Vegas, not at the MGM Grand, but in an open-air arena that will be put up in one vacant lot along The Strip, and could seat more than 40,000 fans.

Arum said doing Pacquiao vs Mayweather at the MGM is like turning their backs on as much as $30 million in ticket sales, which can only be achieved in a bigger venue.

Arum also told he met with the people who will put up the temporary arena that will be located in between the Wynn and Sands hotels.

“To be safe, they said they needed until the end of May to get it done. Economically, it’s a problem that Floyd created. The amount that would be lost by moving it up to May 5th is enormous,” he said.

Arum said the plan will push through, and that Pacquiao will stage his next fight in this venue.

“He (Pacquiao) realizes that economically the May 5th date is not smart. If you postpone it two or three weeks, you can make so much more money.

“Mayweather told the court he was committed to fight on May 5th. I think they lied and said Pacquiao was ready to fight him. Now they are saying the judge ordered them to fight on May 5?

“Was the MGM behind this? If the judge says you have to surrender yourself on June 1st, what the f__ does it matter to the judge if you fight on May 5th or two weeks later?” Arum asked.

Mayweather’s adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, is not surprised with Arum.

“Doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s just [that] Bob is an excellent businessman. He’s been a great promoter for thirty-plus years and he knows the ins and outs of the sport. He’s very, very, very good at misdirecting the public. Very good at that,” Ellerbe told The Examiner.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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