Nov. 19, 2010

Boxing superstars Manny Pacquiao (l.) and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

MANILA — Bob Arum is giving Floyd Mayweather Jr. a couple of weeks, and it could be just right before Christmas, to announce his availability to fight Manny Pacquiao next year.

Otherwise, the legendary promoter will start looking at someone else.

Shane Mosley could be that someone else, after the 39-year-old welterweight champion, who knocked out Antonio Margarito in January last year, said he’s ready.

Then there’s Juan Manuel Marquez itching for a third fight with Pacquiao.

Arum was asked who’s next for Pacquiao, who must be in the middle of a concert in San Francisco as of presstime, four days after his crushing win over Margarito.

He is scheduled to arrive in Manila on Saturday morning, and once again face a hero’s welcome.

“Well, obviously we, like everyone in boxing, would like to see him fight Floyd Mayweather next. We’ll see if we can make that happen. That’s our first priority,” he said.

“That’s if Floyd Mayweather is willing to take the fight.”

Arum said the fight with Mayweather will depend on a lot of things, not just the where and when, the purse split or the blood-testing procedure.

The Mayweathers, the boxer and his uncle-trainer, are facing various charges and may be facing court trials in the coming weeks or months.

Arum said they need to make sure that the fight, from the negotiations leading up to the preparations, will not be “blindsided by any trial.”

Arum, now smiling at the possibility of 1.5 million pay-per-view buys for last week’s Pacquiao-Margarito, said he will work on the Mayweather thing the next couple of weeks.

He said a month ago that Pacquiao can fight in May, but it can be pushed to June or July depending on the opponent.

“There’s no one in first place right now after Floyd. We have a birthday party Dec. 17 in the Philippines for Manny. If Mayweather hasn’t indicated his availability by then, Shane Mosley is a real possibility,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

Lance Pugmire of the Times wrote that Mosley has already reached out to Arum,

“I’m conducting business myself,” said the pride of Pomona, who should agree to fight Pacquiao regardless of what’s on the table or with no blood-testing at all.

“If I have to wait for these others, I’m not going to get the fight I want,” added Mosley, referring to his representatives from Golden Boy Promotions, still locked up in a courtroom battle with Top Rank.

Mosley said he can give Pacquiao, and the fans, a good fight, a fight even better than the Margarito fight.

“I punch harder and faster than Margarito, I’d land more body shots...It’d be a good, explosive matchup,” he said.

But Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach had said that Mosley “needs to retire.”

The Filipino champion’s strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza isn’t too hot either for that fight.

“Mosley? He’ll be tired after 15 minutes so what’s the point of that fight? Manny knocks him out and, probably, Manny won’t even train for that fight,” said Ariza after the Margarito fight.

“That guy is a quitter. He quit against Mayweather in three rounds. What do you think he’s gonna do when Manny starts letting loose his hands five or 15 seconds after the bell rings?”

Well, at least there’s a sure fight waiting for Pacquiao, if Mayweather can’t.

The world’s No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer Manny Pacquiao, right, lands a punch against Antonio Margarito during the 11th round of their World Boxing Council light middleweight title boxing match at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Nov. 13.  (AP photo/David J. Phillip)

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