Arum needs to get Cotto, Foreman or Margarito ready to fight Pacquiao in case Mayweather fight doesn’t happen

By Jason Kim: It’s looking like a potential fight between WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. might not happen unless Pacquiao is willing to agree to the full random blood tests, which he previously hasn’t been willing to do, and accept a smaller cut of the revenue. Those things seem pretty simple for an average fighter to do, since they would realize that, in the end, it would be well worth it to accept a slightly smaller purse split and agree to the troubles of having their blood and urine tested periodically in order to get a huge payday of around $40 million.

However, Pacquiao has a great deal of pride and it’s doubtful he will agree to any of that in order to get a fight with Mayweather. Pacquiao had almost everything that he wanted in a fight with Mayweather during the last fight negotiations in January. The only thing that held the fight back from being signed was the cutoff for the random blood tests. Mayweather wanted 14 days, while Pacquiao wouldn’t budge from 24 days. That was the time to make the fight happen, but Pacquiao stuck firm at the 24 days and then moved on to a fight against Joshua Clottey. Mayweather did well for himself in beating Shane Mosley by a 12 round decision and ended up with nice pay-per-view numbers.

Now it looks like Mayweather is going to be asking for the full random blood tests and a bigger purse split. Unless Arum can convince Pacquiao to stick around a little longer, this could be Pacquiao’s last fight of his career. If Pacquiao doesn’t agree to the terms with Mayweather for a huge mega fight, Arum is prepared to use his backup plan of putting Pacquiao in with one of his other Top Rank fighters Yuri Foreman, Miguel Cotto or Antonio Margarito. Of those three, Cotto would appear to be the favorite because he’s arguably the most popular of the three and, unlike Margarito, has a boxing license to fight in the United States.

However, Cotto has to beat Foreman for Arum to be able to use him as a backup plan. If Cotto loses to Foreman, this messes things up for Arum and will force him to decide on Margarito or Foreman. That decision could come down to whether Margarito is able to get his boxing license back in the U.S. If not, then it will probably have to be Foreman. That fight might not sell out the Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where Arum would like to put the fight. It also might not bring in a huge amount of pay-per-view buys, either.

But then again, neither will a second Cotto-Pacquiao fight. Most boxing fans have seen the first Pacquiao vs. Cotto fight, saw how one-sided it was, and won’t want to pay to see another lopsided fight. However, with the options pretty much taken away from Arum if he can’t line up a fight with Mayweather or Margarito, he’d have to settle for putting together a pointless rematch between Cotto and Pacquiao. I can see it winding up with at least 700,000 PPV buys, maybe slightly more because fans will want to tune in to see what could be the last fight of Pacquiao’s career.

Ideally, it would be better to have Pacquiao matched against someone like Sergio Martinez or Paul Williams, because those guys would actually have a chance to beat Pacquiao, unless Foreman, Cotto and Margarito. Unfortunately, Arum often likes to have his Top Rank fighters matched against each other rather than fighting other fighters who aren’t promoted by him, so there’s probably little chance of seeing Pacquiao against Martinez or Williams in his next fight.

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