Mayweather-Pacquiao 'Off,' Pacquiao-Malignaggi Pending
In addition, the 31-year-old Pacquaio (50-3-2, 38 knockouts), who earned the WBO welterweight (147 pounds) title with last month's 12th-round stoppage of Miguel Cotto, will instead fight New York's Paulie Malignaggi (27-3, five KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on the same date.
Also, Arum said that Pacquiao could soon file a lawsuit claiming libel and slander against Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs), his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., and Golden Boy Promotions, whose CEO, Richard Schaefer, was negotiating on Mayweather's behalf.
All of this was detailed during an angry, Friday morning telephone call to FanHouse from Arum.
"This fight is absolutely off. That's our position, period, is that we're moving on to Malignaggi," said Arum. "And if Mayweather loses this fight, and all of this money, then he has only one guy to blame, and that's Richard Schaefer. This is not Mayweather. This is Richard Schaefer."
Schaefer could not be reached for comment.
The decision comes on a day when Arum said the two sides were slated to have U.S. senator, John McCain, mediate a negotiations effort arranged by Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports.
"But I called up Ross and I said, 'I'm not going to take part in any mediation or anything. I'm not going to deal with Richard Schaefer on instructions from my client. He's demeaned and libeled my client for no damn reason. And I'm just not going to take part in it," said Arum.
"If they want to come back and have someone else represent them -- [Mayweather's adviser] Leonard Ellerbe -- or anybody else they want, then we can sit down and do this the right way with the Nevada Athletic Commission having complete jurisdiction over everything," said Arum.
"Then, we would agree to pre-fight testing, urine analysis, blood-testing, whatever it took to get this fight done," said Arum. "But we'd only do it with the Nevada Athletic Commission. But for now, Manny has asked me to move on to Malignaggi."
Arum said that Pacquiao's suit stems from the Mayweather camp's insistence that Pacquiao and Mayweather be given Olympic-style, prefight, random blood and urine tests from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, a move Arum believes resulted largely from steroid accusations first leveled, publicly, against Pacquiao by Mayweather's father, Floyd Sr., in September.
Arum said that Pacquiao was uncharacteristically angry during a telephone conversation on Thursday night.
"I have never, ever in my life experienced Manny Pacquiao acting that way. He was so angry, the lines were smoking," said Arum. "He said, 'I don't want you to deal with these people, they're no good, they've [disrepected] me.'"
In a statement obtained by FanHouse, Pacquiao alleges that his "character and person has been questioned, maligned, damaged and tarnished by baseless and false accusations."
"Enough is enough. These people, Mayweather Sr., Jr., and Golden Boy Promotions, think it is a joke and a right to accuse someone wrongly of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs," said Pacquiao, in a statement obtained by FanHouse. "I have tried to just brush it off as a mere pre-fight ploy, but I think they have gone overboard."
Arum believes that the Golden Boy Promotions still is bitter about developments from 2006, when Pacquiao chose to go with Top Rank over their company after signing contracts with each.
Arum sued Golden Boy after discovering that its president, Oscar De La Hoya, had given Pacquiao a $250,000 signing bonus. Later, an arbitrator split Pacquiao evenly between the two, but Top Rank remains his primary promoter.
"[A Philippines reporter] said that Schaefer brought up the fact that Pacquiao went with us rather than Golden Boy a number of years ago, and that he was still bitter about that,'" said Arum.
"Manny is absolutely filing a lawsuit. He doesn't know when, he doesn't know where, but he wants me to get him a lawyer, which we will do. If he wants to sue, which he apparently does, he will sue."