Manny Pacquiao says he isn't interested in separating from promoter Bob Arum even if it would secure a mega-bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao, preparing for an April 12 World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight against unbeaten champion Timothy Bradley at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, told the Los Angeles Times on Monday he’s not leaning toward a split with Arum.
“Right now, I don’t have issues,” Pacquiao said before a workout at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood. “I’m the kind of person that doesn’t look to make changes. Look at me, since I’ve fought in America, I’ve only had one trainer [Freddie Roach]. I never change. We have a good relationship with Top Rank, with Bob."
According to officials close to the situation, Arum’s promotional contract with Pacquiao is due to expire by the end of 2014.
Mayweather’s trainer and father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., has said a Pacquiao split with Arum would improve negotiations for a Mayweather-Pacquiao super-fight that has stalled in the past over drug testing, money and personal issues.
Mayweather Jr. split bitterly with Arum nearly a decade ago and said earlier this month the decision was the best one he made in his career, allowing him to participate in the two richest pay-per-view bouts in history. He's mocked Pacquiao for remaining with Arum.
Arum countered by saying the Mayweather camp is asking for another appeasement that still won’t result in a fight. Pacquiao now undergoes the rigid drug testing that Mayweather previously requested, and Pacquiao has said he'll accept a purse split in which he makes less than Mayweather. Pacquiao agreed with Arum's logic.
“The truth is, he doesn’t have interest in fighting me,” Pacquiao said, laughing at the suggestion a split from Arum would gain him Mayweather. “It’s not about the promoter.”
Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach, Justin Fortune, interrupted to add, “Mayweather can never call himself the best unless he fights Manny. Simple as that.”
And Pacquiao publicist Fred Sternburg noted, “Two fighters who want to fight each other have never been kept from fighting each other.”
Pacquiao stopped short of saying he’s given up hope about making the fight, which remains compelling despite the fighters' advancing ages.
“For me, if he wants to fight, the fight will be on,” Pacquiao said. “The ultimate answer is from him. I’m just waiting to see if he’ll change his mind.”
Unless Mayweather interrupts the process with a request to negotiate for Pacquiao, Arum has said he plans to stage the Pacquiao-Bradley winner against the May 17 Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado winner.
“I want to fight one more this year, around October, November,” Pacquiao said, adding he’s open to the bout being either in Las Vegas or in China, where he beat Brandon Rios in November.
“Don’t care,” Pacquiao said. “It depends on Bob."
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