Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao won’t fight at Cowboys Stadium, which, in and of itself, was not enough to anger Bob Arum into withdrawing from active participation in the negotiations.
The way Mayweather’s representative made the 11th-hour pronouncement that Dallas is out of the running was, however.
Arum has passed on the negotiating responsibilities for his company, Top Rank Inc., which represents Pacquiao, to Todd duBoef, the company’s president.
duBoef is Arum’s stepson and has been groomed for several years as the 78-year-old promoter’s successor as chief executive of the boxing promotional company.
In the broad scheme of things, the maneuver holds little significance, although it certainly is symbolic of Arum’s distaste for the way the Dallas dismissal happened, with Richard Schaefer, chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions, telling him of the decision hours before their scheduled departure to meet with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Wednesday.
Schaefer -- who represents Mayweather in the negotiations but is not empowered to make decisions unilaterally without the fighter’s involvement -- did not respond to telephone messages Thursday. His administrative assistant said he would have no comment on any matters related to Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations until a final deal was struck.
Arum’s decision also probably is based, in some part, on his difficult history with Mayweather.
Arum frequently has said he would not allow personal dislike for the Grand Rapids native to interfere with negotiations for the fight, and his withdrawal could be designed for precisely that purpose.
Also Thursday, Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, told The Los Angeles Times that an 11th-hour offer by Staples Center to host the fight probably is a non-starter because, by his side’s estimation, state taxation in California could cost the Filipino fighter between $3 million and $5 million.
Several other sites have been considered and dismissed, including the Congo, Dubai, Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans.
That leaves MGM Grand in Las Vegas as the clear-cut frontrunner -- and the longer talks drag out for a fight just more than three months away, the more likely it becomes that MGM will host.