The long-anticipated showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao appears unlikely to take place this year as negotiations between the two camps are at an apparent standstill.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank, had set a July 17 deadline for exclusive talks and, with nothing agreed, can now explore other potential opponents – namely Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito – for the Filipino’s next fight on November 13.
The rivals, widely regarded as the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, almost came to an agreement earlier this year but the deal collapsed because Pacquiao was reticent about blood testing close to the fight.
Instead, Pacquiao routed Joshua Clottey before about 50,000 fans at Cowboys Stadium in March, while Mayweather Jr easily defeated Shane Mosley in May to remain unbeaten in 41 contests.
“I’m not interested in rushing to do anything,” Mayweather Jr told the Associated Press on July 18 in Miami, where he was coaching a charity basketball game.
He added: “I’m not really thinking about boxing right now.
“I’m just relaxing. I fought about 60 days ago, so I’m just enjoying myself, enjoying life, enjoying my family and enjoying my vacation.”
Top Rank’s Bob Arum, although not having spoken directly to the fighter, believes Mayweather Jr might be reluctant to take on Pacquiao this year because of the legal woes of Roger Mayweather, his uncle and long-time trainer.
Roger Mayweather will go on trial in Las Vegas in August on assault charges stemming from an altercation with a female boxer last year.