Floyd Mayweather Jr. will negotiate Manny Pacquiao fight with Top Rank

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Floyd Mayweather Jr., taking an important step to help create an anticipated super-fight against Manny Pacquiao next year, will open dialogue with Top Rank promotions, Mayweather’s lead advisor told The Times on Thursday night.

‘Team Mayweather/Mayweather Promotions have been discussing our options and when we’re finished, we’ll let (co-promoter) Richard Schaefer express our position to Top Rank,’ Mayweather’s advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, told The Times in a telephone interview.

That marks a thawing in what has been an extremely icy relationship between Mayweather and Bob Arum, Top Rank’s chairman. Mayweather left Top Rank a few years ago after feeling long overshadowed by the promoter’s former star attraction, Oscar De La Hoya.

Mayweather (40-0) proceeded to help generate the richest event in boxing history ($155 million) vs. De La Hoya in 2007, then drew more than 1.9 million buys against Ricky Hatton and Juan Manuel Marquez.

‘It’s no secret the camps don’t see eye to eye, but this is bigger than boxing,’ Ellerbe said. ‘We understand the magnitude of this.’


Ellerbe declined to discuss what kind of purse split Mayweather is seeking. ‘But it’s no secret who’s the biggest star and draw in boxing,’ he said.

On Friday, HBO is prepared to announce that Pacquiao’s 12th-round TKO of Miguel Cotto generated more pay-per-view buys than Mayweather-Marquez or any other live event this year. Ellerbe notes that Mayweather sold more PPVs in common fights against Hatton, De La Hoya and Marquez.

‘The numbers don’t lie, people do,’ Ellerbe said. '(Pacquiao) had good numbers, God bless him, but he had a dance partner this time.’

Ellerbe said he’ll instruct Schaefer to negotiate with Arum ‘as soon as possible,’ but noted, ‘If the fight can’t be made, we’ll fight Shane Mosley if he can get past (Andre) Berto (on Jan. 30).’

-- Lance Pugmire