Official death of Mayweather-Pacquiao fight at hand


The sides are no longer talking, last-minute attempts to strike a compromise appear to be futile, and Manny Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, says he’s three hours away from finalizing a site deal with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to stage an alternative Pacquiao fight at the team’s stadium on March 13.

“If Bob’s so strongly moving to the other fight, then we have no choice but to move on,” Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s promoter Richard Schaefer told The Times this morning. “They didn’t want the fight.”

Mayweather and Pacquiao failed to strike a deal because of their dispute over blood testing for performance-enhancing drugs. Pacquiao, who has sued Mayweather for alleged defamation because of public statements made implying the Filipino star has used those drugs, won’t accept a blood test closer than 24 days before the fight. Mayweather wants the fighters to be subject to blood tests up to 14 days before the fight. A Pacquiao advisor said the fighter himself has rejected the 14-day proposal.

Arum flatly said today that “the horse has left the building,” in reference to a Mayweather fight, and instead was enthused to discuss his plans for Pacquiao’s March 13 fight against welterweight contender Joshua Clottey. Clottey lost a decision last year to Miguel Cotto, who later lost to Pacquiao by 12th-round TKO in November.

“This place [Cowboys Stadium] is absolutely sensational, the boxing fans will love it,” Arum said. “I can’t even properly describe it without sounding crazy.”

Arum attended Saturday night’s Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game in Jones’ private suite, a gathering that placed the liberal promoter in the same box as former President George W. Bush and conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.

“They both love Pacquiao, and [Bush] said he’ll come to the fight if his schedule allows,” Arum said.

Arum said Pacquiao will earn a minimum $10 million for the Clottey bout, with seating capacity being placed at 50,000.

Meanwhile, the Mayweather camp is now considering their options for March 13 and beyond.

Take a fight at MGM Grand against someone liker Paulie Malignaggi? Wait until a later date, like May 1, and fight longtime rival Shane Mosley if he defeats Andre Berto Jan. 30?

Schaefer said Mayweather is willing to fight Mosley, a pairing that will conclude years of jawing between the two gifted foes that have long been near the top of the world’s top pound-for-pound lists. Mosley is currently a world welterweight champion.

“At 147 pounds, the man to beat is ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley,” Schaefer said. “Floyd will take that fight, and will shut up all those who are saying he’s a coward.”