RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Promoter Bob Arum expects to settle on a site for Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. by next week.
While Las Vegas is the front-runner, Arum claims it still might be Dallas — and it definitely won’t be Los Angeles.
The Top Rank boss spoke glowingly of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his willingness to outbid Vegas for what might be the richest fight in boxing history. Arum also expressed frustration Saturday night with Golden Boy’s Richard Schaefer, who assists Mayweather Promotions, for canceling a trip to Dallas because he doesn’t want the fight in Jones’ opulent stadium.
"I know Texas people, and I know that a first proposal doesn’t mean it’s the final proposal," said Arum, who promotes Pacquiao. "I’m saying that Dallas is a real live possibility, and I have a fiduciary responsibility to Manny Pacquiao to get him the most money."
The Dallas bid was thought to be nearly dead after Schaefer skipped the trip on Wednesday to scout for Mayweather. But Arum, speaking after Top Rank fighter Lamont Peterson lost his 140-pound title shot against Timothy Bradley, insists Schaefer must consider Jones’ offer — a guarantee of $25 million, according to the Los Angeles Times, which might go even higher.
"I think everybody involved has an obligation to see," said Arum, who has turned over the nuts-and-bolts negotiations to Top Rank president Todd duBoef because Arum gets too emotional.
"I know we can get the greatest offer in history from the Texas stadium," Arum said. "My position is whoever has the best deal for those two fighters, that’s where I want the deal."
Arum might want this historic fight to happen in decidedly unhistoric Cowboys Stadium, or he might simply be attempting to leverage Jones’ bid against the MGM Grand to get a better offer from the best fight site in boxing’s capital city.
The MGM Grand likely could craft a bigger offer than $25 million based on closed-circuit tickets and the ancillary benefits of being in the gambling mecca, but the casino likely can’t match the possible Dallas gate — and Arum wants a guarantee.
"I’m guaranteeing my fighter $25 million," Arum said. "I ain’t going for pie in the sky on this."
Arum also says the fight will only be held in a state with generous tax laws, ruling out Los Angeles and apparently New Orleans, which expressed interest in putting the fight in the Superdome. Staples Center made a $20 million bid for the bout, but Arum scoffed at it.
"Staples is not a factor at all," Arum said. "There is no possibility at all of Staples because of California’s tax situation."