After initially giving Floyd Mayweather Jr grieve about staging a fight between him and Manny Pacquiao on the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo on May 2nd, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has given the green light for the fight to take place on this date. However, Arum pretty much had no other choice after Pacquiao told him that he was fine with facing Mayweather on that date.
Arum didn’t want to have the fight take place on May 2nd because he felt that this was a Mexican date and saw Mayweather as poaching the date from Mexican fighters like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Some boxing fans felt that Arum’s reasons for not wanting the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight to take place on that date was self-serving.
After all, Miguel Cotto, a fighter who Arum works with, is in negotiations with Canelo for a fight right now, and it was Canelo who was doggedly pushing for the fight to be staged on May 2nd, because he wanted to take the Mexican fight dates away from Mayweather even though Canelo has failed to establish himself as a major pay-per-view attraction in his own right in the United States.
“I don’t necessarily like the date,” Arum said to RingTV.com about the May 2nd date that Mayweather wants for the Pacquiao fight. “That date is a Mexican holiday, and it should be for a Mexican fighter. But Floyd wanted it on May 2, so we agreed on May 2.”
Since the fight is being televised on HBO and Showtime pay-per-view in the United States, it seems senseless for Arum to say that the May 2nd date should only be for Mexican fighters. It’s not as if only Mexican boxing fans are going to be eligible to purchase the fight on PPV.
If the fight was staged in Mexican then Arum would have an argument, but this is a fight in the U.S and anyone in the U.S should be eligible to fight on that date with Arum picking sides. Besides that, Pacquiao has twice fought on a Mexican holiday with Arum as his promoter, so it’s weird that Arum would suddenly start caring about the Mexican holidays now.
It would have been interesting if Arum drew a line in the sand and refused to let Pacquiao fight Mayweather on May 2nd. My guess is the fight would go out the window right away and Arum would be stuck matching Pacquiao against one of his less popular Top Rank fighters like Jessie Vargas. That’s obviously a fight he’d have to stick in Macau, China because it likely wouldn’t do well in the U.S.