Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum has pledged that he move forward with the November 5 date for Manny Pacquiao’s return to the ring against WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas despite HBO-PPV’s refusal to distribute the fight. The network fears the close proximity of the November 5 date will impact their November 19 PPV offering between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward. Arum told the LA Times that he will now offer the fight to other networks and stated he believes Pacquiao is now a television free agent. If that is indeed the case, the network may have forfeited the right to air a possible 2017 rematch between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, by far the most lucrative PPV event in boxing history.
“The fact that they passed means the contract is over, it seems clear to me,” Arum told Times boxing writer Lance Pugmire. “They can’t pick and choose which fights they are going to distribute. They’re either in breach of contract or they’ve ended the contract. My feeling is, based my legal background, is that the contract is terminated.”
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