Ellerbe claims Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations did not take place
The Floyd Mayweather Jr. camp has broken its silence on a proposed fight against Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 14 but only created more confusion.
Mayweather’s advisor Leonard Ellerbe said in a stunning statement Monday afternoon that negotiations – thought to be going on for months — never took place.
This comes to two days after Bob Arum, promoter of Manny Pacquiao, said that he had been negotiating with the Mayweather camp through Ross Greenburg of HBO Sports.
Arum called a conference call at midnight Friday to announce that time had run out on exclusive talks with Mayweather and that he would begin to pursue another opponent for Pacquiao, either Antonio Margarito or Miguel Cotto.
Arum had said last month that Mayweather and Pacquiao were close to a deal.
“Here are the facts,” Ellerbe said in the statement, which was titled “Someone’s Lying.” “Al Haymon [another Mayweather advisor], Richard Schaefer and myself speak to each other on a regular basis and the truth is no negotiations have ever taken place nor was there ever a deal agreed upon by Team Mayweather or Floyd Mayweather to fight Manny Pacquiao on November 13. Either Ross Greenburg or Bob Arum is not telling the truth, but history tells us who is lying.”
Ellerbe's statement begs a question: If negotiations with Pacquiao's representatives were not taking place, why didn’t Mayweather or someone representing him say so?
Top Rank publicist Lee Samuels said that Arum would have no response to Ellerbe’s statement. However, Arum did speak to ESPN.com.
“This is like absurd unreality,” Arum told ESPN.com. “I'm not going to be party to this [expletive]. When I heard about [the statement] I thought it was a joke. Ross said he was talking to [Mayweather advisor Al] Haymon. He certainly wasn't making it up. And Haymon was relaying conversations to Ross allegedly that Floyd had with him. At least that is what Ross says.”
Arum went on: “If there is no negotiation, who imposed the gag order? Why they're doing this is absurd. What is motivating them to put something like this out? I'm not going to speculate but what are they doing? [Richard] Schaefer [of Golden Boy Promotions] said there was a gag order. Who could there be a gag order from if there were no negotiations? From the sky?
“What they said was absurd, but why did they say this? They could say a lot of other things. My feeling is that this is rapidly becoming one of the most bizarre things ever.”
An HBO spokesman said that the network also had no comment.