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Bob Arum: Floyd and Manny should fight for charity

Top Rank Founder and CEO Bob Arum speaks

Top Rank Founder and CEO Bob Arum speaks during the final news conference for the bout between boxers Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas. (Nov. 9, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

When negotiations for a megafight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao began in late 2009, the initial roadblock was drug testing.

Mayweather, in addition to the standard urine tests fighters are required to take, wanted Olympic-style blood testing. Pacquiao balked at the demand and the fight didn’t take place.

The second time around, it was about the money. Mayweather wanted a lion’s share of the purse, including the pay-per-view proceeds. Pacquiao balked at that demand and the fight didn’t take place.

The Filipino congressman added a new wrinkle to the saga recently, suggesting both boxers fight for charity. Instead of haggling over what the split would be, donate all proceeds to charity.

Top Rank boss Bob Arum said he is all for it.

“I think the proposal that Pacquiao has made is superb. It would elevate boxing to a new level. Everybody get together, work on the fight, nobody touch the money, nobody takes five cents, including the fighters,” Arum said Thursday. “Give it all to charity. Have a presidential commission from the United States and a presidential commission from the Philippines dictate who and what charities would get the money. Hundreds of millions of dollars would be raised.”

Arum is positive Pacquiao is all set to back up his proposal. He’s not sure about Mayweather.

“What Floyd would or wouldn’t do, that you’d have to ask him,” Arum said.

Money has become a big issue for Pacquiao recently, who reportedly owes tens of millions of dollars in back taxes to the IRS and the Filipino government.

Arum refuted claims that Pacquiao wants to fight Mayweather so he can alleviate his tax debt. In fact, the longtime promoter said he is close to announcing Pacquiao’s next bout, a rematch with Timothy Bradley expected to take place in April.

“We’re down to the nitty gritty,” Arum said of the negotiations.

As for the ramifications of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight for charity, Arum said its impact would be felt for years to come.  

“It would go down in history, 100 years from now, as something that boxing did for the general good,” said Arum. “And I think it would be more important than the money either of these guys or the promoters would make for that fight.”

New York Sports