Boxing fans waiting and hoping for a Manny Pacquiao fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. will have to keep waiting.
Promotor Bob Arum said early Saturday morning (or late Friday night, depending on your way of thinking) that Mayweather never responded to the latest proposal. Arum had set a 3 a.m. (Eastern) deadline for Mayweather to sign on to the long-talked-about fight between two of boxing's biggest stars, even going so far as to put a "Money Mayweather Countdown Clock" on the Top Rank website.
But Arum's over-the-top tactics didn't take, and Pacquiao's promotor said the boxer will start searching for another opponent for a November 2010 fight. Possible opponents include Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto, both fighters managed also promoted by Arum; both fighters have titles as well, giving Pacquiao a chance to win a record eighth championship in a different weight class.
Arum did leave open the possibility of getting a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight put together, reminding reporters on his late-night conference call that the deadline closed only the exclusive negotiating window.
People have asked me as well as others at Top Rank, does that mean the Mayweather fight is dead? Even thought Mayweather has not responded by the deadline, the deal is dead when we reach a deal with an opponent for Manny’s fight in November. Then we are contractually bound to do that fight and we would look hopefully to do a fight with Floyd next year. In the interim, while this was going on, if Floyd suddenly emerged and said he wanted to do the fight, there would be nothing opposed to getting together and doing the fight.
So, Arum's telling us there's a chance.
Floyd Mayweather is not saying he will not ever fight Manny Pacquiao. There is always next year.