MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao had his mind all made up even before he sat down with Bob Arum yesterday.
Because according to the Top Rank chief, his meeting with the world’s most exciting fighter today was over even before he could warm up his seat.
“We got everything done in 30 minutes,” Arum said over the telephone.
Arum said he was on his way to the airport to catch a late afternoon flight to Las Vegas following a four-day stay in Manila.
In his hands, as he boards the plane back home, is the name of Pacquiao’s next opponent, the personal choice of the Filipino boxing icon.
Pacquiao had Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Tim Bradley and Lamont Peterson to choose from – just in case nothing comes out of the Floyd Mayweather talks.
Arum, however, is not about to reveal who Pacquiao chose because he wants to go through it.
“Yes, he has made the choice. But I’m not gonna talk about it,” he said.
“Now I’m going back and let’s see if we can make what Manny wants to happen. We need to be sure everything is secure and that things are done the way they should be done.”
Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, was quoted as saying the other day that Pacquiao, after going through the tapes of his possible opponents for June, has picked Cotto.
“Si Cotto ang gusto niya,” said Jinkee.
Arum said Pacquiao will fight late in the last week of May or the first week of June. If it’s not against Mayweather, then it must be against the one he picked yesterday.
Arum isn’t losing hope that the fight with Mayweather will take place either late May or on June 9. He said he will continue to work on this once he gets back home.
“Don’t say that,” Arum said when asked if Mayweather is out of the picture.
Arum said the problem with making Pacquiao vs Mayweather happen is that no one would guarantee Mayweather’s purse.
He even suggested that Mayweather can make a deal with him so that Top Rank can guarantee his purse for a Pacquiao fight, and it won’t go any lower than $50 million.
“I’m open to that but then I will have to get a share of his revenue,” Arum said.
“I don’t want to fight nobody but one person, Manny Pacquiao. That’s the only person that I want to fight,” Mayweather told www.ringtv.com yesterday.
But to make that fight happen in June, in a 45,000-seat open arena in Las Vegas, Arum said they need to convince the Las Vegas judge to further push Mayweather’s jail term to June 15.
“We can jointly approach the judge and ask if the jail term could be delayed to June 15. Then we can hold the fight on June 9,” said Arum.
But there are reports that Marquez is also looking at a different opponent, and it could be Peterson.
If true, then it leaves Pacquiao with only two names to choose from as the alternate opponent, and they are Cotto and Bradley.
Then it should be Cotto as what the boxer’s wife had said.