Wow! Pacquiao-Gayweather Fight to Push Through?

Judge delays Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s jail sentence until June, leaving open the possibility of a super-fight against Manny Pacquiao in May.

Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr.Manny Pacquiao, left, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have tried three times to negotiate a blockbuster fight deal to no avail. (Photos by EPA)
By Lance Pugmire (Los Angeles Times)January 6, 2012, 4:50 p.m.
A judge in Las Vegas on Friday delayed Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s sentence for a domestic violence conviction, thus freeing the undefeated boxing champion to go ahead with a bout in May — possibly in a super-fight against Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather, 34, pleaded guilty last month to a reduced battery domestic violence charge and no contest to two harassment charges in a case involving an attack on his ex-girlfriend in September 2010. He was scheduled to begin serving a 90-day jail sentence Friday.But a judge said she considered Mayweather’s contractual obligations to a fight set for May 5 in Las Vegas against an as-yet unnamed opponent. Mayweather must now start his jail sentence by June 1.After the judge’s ruling, Mayweather’s advisor Leonard Ellerbe issued a statement: “We are pleased that the judge granted postponement of Floyd’s surrender date so that he can fulfill his commitment to Las Vegas to deliver his promised mega-fight and the economic benefits it provides to the community.”

Asked if that “mega-fight” meant a bout against Pacquiao, Ellerbe said, “We’ll make an announcement about who we’re going to fight next week. We just came out of the … court hearing. Give us a chance to catch our breath.”

Representatives for the world’s top two boxers have failed in three previous attempts in the last two years to stage a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, with disagreements over drug testing, old business rivalries and promotional disputes sabotaging each attempt.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, is flying to the Philippines to meet with his fighter Sunday to discuss the Filipino star’s next bout.

This week, Arum said he was not planning on Mayweather being available for a late-spring bout and was going to discuss possible Pacquiao fights against Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Lamont Peterson or Miguel Cotto. Now the discussion has changed.

“May 5 is out for us. It can’t happen because we want to explore the idea of getting a [temporary] stadium arena up on the streets of Las Vegas that can seat 40,000 [for a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout],” Arum said Friday. “The end of May is a possibility.”

Arum wants to consider a larger outdoor venue because “having the fight in a 40,000-seat arena rather than a 16,000-seat arena seems like a no-brainer.”

Additionally, Arum said Pacquiao is healing from a deep cut over one of his eyes sustained in his November fight against Marquez.

“I don’t know that [Pacquiao] is on schedule to start sparring until the beginning of April,” Arum said. “If it is early April, we’ll have to have the fight in late May.”

Asked if he was cynical about Mayweather’s interest in wanting to fight Pacquiao, Arum said, “I have no idea.”

Asked if Pacquiao wants to fight Mayweather, Arum said, “Yeah.”

In addition to junior-welterweight contender Robert Guerrero of Gilroy, Calif., another possible opponent for Mayweather is super-welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico.

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