Top Rank boss Bob Arum said what most pundits figured would happen during a conference call with reporters 3:00 a.m this morning; Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather won't be fighting on November 13.
Arum set a deadline of 11:59 p.m. (west coast time) Friday night for Mayweather to agree to a deal. With no response from Mayweather or his camp as of the posting of this blog, there won't be a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather on November 13.
But there is a catch. The passing of the deadline doesn't mean there can't be a deal. If Arum and Pacquiao don't make a deal with another fighter over the next 10 days and Mayweather were to agree to terms, the fight could still be made.
"It's the end of the exclusivity period," between Mayweather and Pacquiao, Arum said.
Negotiations were bizarre, to say the least. Arum never had contact with Mayweather or anyone in his camp, including Mayweather's advisors Leonard Ellerbe and Al Haymon. In fact, Arum dealt exclusively with HBO's president of sports Ross Greenburg.
"Ross was committed to make the fight happen," Arum said. "I felt the best choice to make the fight happen was to do everything through Ross."
As for Mayweather's reason for not answering the deadline, no one knows as Mayweather's camp has been quiet. But it didn't stop Arum from speculating.
"I'm sure there is a very, very good reason that Floyd has for not committing to a fight right now," Arum said.
Arum said, with no inside knowledge, that it could be the "uncertainty" surrounding Mayweather's trainer and uncle, Roger Mayweather. Roger Mayweather will stand trial August for allegedly choking and assulting a female boxer in August.
Arum continued to go out of his way to give Mayweather a pass saying: "We need to cut him some slack."
The Mayweather camp's silence stems from both sides striking an agreement not to speak about the negotiations to the press. No one on Mayweather's side has spoken to the press, not Haymon, not Ellerbe or Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Promotions.
At some point Mayweather will be heard on the issue. The guess here is that a statement will be forthcoming by the end of next week.
WIth Mayweather out of the picture for Pacquiao, at least temporarily, Arum said he will turn his complete attention to making a fight with Miguel Cotto or Antonio Magarito. But Arum said there's a deadline for that, too.
Citing Pacquiao's duties as a Filipino congressman and the need to begin preparations for press conferences and securing a venue, Arum said he would need to make a deal with one of the fighters "in the next 10 days". With all three fighters fighting under the promotional arm of Top Rank, there's no doubt a deal with one of the fighters would get done.
Arum said negotiations with either fighter would begin over the next couple of days.
As for a venue, a fight between Pacquiao and Margarito would take place in Mexico or at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A fight with Cotto would happen at the MGM or Cowboy Stadium.
Arum wouldn't comment on which fighter he would prefer for Pacquiao, but it's clear that Cotto makes better sense. The first match between Pacquiao and Cotto drew 1.25 million ppv buys.
Margarito still must apply to get his license back in California, though he could fight in Mexico. More importantly, Margarito didn't look great in a unanimous-decision 10-round victory against Roberto Garcia last May.