By Dave Lahr: In an article at Tempo.com.ph Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum says “It’s unbelievable. They don’t care who Manny fights.” Arum is speaking about Pacquiao’s popularity with stadium owners and boxing fans around the world many of who can’t get enough news about the Filipino star. Pacquiao and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. are currently stuck in their negotiations with the random blood testing being the sticking point in the negotiations.
On Tuesday, an outside mediator, Daniel Weinstein, will be meeting with Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions to try and rectify the stalled negotiations. As for Arum’s claim that boxing fans don’t care who Pacquiao fights, that remains to be seen. Arum wants to match Pacquiao up next with World Boxing Association light middleweight champion Yuri Foreman if the mediator fails at reviving the Mayweather-Pacquiao talks.
A fight against Foreman, a fighter only known among hardcore boxing fans, would be a big test for whether casual boxing fans would be interested in paying for to see Pacquiao fight an unknown fighter. Pacquiao wants another title, and Foreman would appear to be the easiest way for Manny to accomplish that.
A much harder task, perhaps even impossible, would be for Arum to match Pacquiao up with WBC light middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, who is considered by many boxing fans to be the best fighter in the light middleweight division. That fight would be a much more interesting fight than to see Pacquiao fight Foreman, who is a fighter with weak punching power and a history of being a runner in his fights.
To be sure, it doesn’t give one a sense of well being to see Arum so upbeat about the stadium owners not caring who Pacquiao fights.
That gives me the impression that there may not be any budging in the negotiation process by Pacquiao’s management team. I hope I’m wrong about this, because I really want to see Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. But if Arum believes like he says that people don’t care who Pacquiao fights, then there is no real reason for Pacquiao’s team to give in and meet Mayweather halfway.
I think some fans would interested in seeing Pacquiao fight Foreman, but nothing like the same amount of fans that have watched Pacquiao’s recent fights against Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya. It takes two good fighters to make a mega fight, and if you match Pacquiao against a fighter that many casual boxing fans have never heard of in their life, I doubt they’ll willing to pay big money to watch Pacquiao on pay-per-view no matter who is packaged together on the undercard.