By Ben Thompson | December 30, 2014
MEMBERS OF TEAM PACQUIAO WORKING BEHIND BOB ARUM'S BACK; QUESTION HIS DESIRE TO MAKE MAYWEATHER FIGHT was recently contacted by a representative of Franklin "Jeng" Gacal, long-time Filipino lawyer and Chief of Staff for Filipino Congressman Manny Pacquiao, who was looking to set up a face-to-face meeting with undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather. According to the representative, Gacal is going to be in Mayweather's hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada from December 30 to January 3, and wants to speak with him in hopes of gathering evidence to prove that it's Pacquiao's own promoter, Bob Arum, not Mayweather, preventing the mega-fight from happening.

"In Vegas from the 30th-Jan 3rd and would love a chance to sit with MM [Money Mayweather] and bring the truth back to MP [Manny Pacquiao], so MP will know it has been Koncz and Bob blocking all along," the representative wrote in a recent email sent to Of course, this wouldn't be the first time that Gacal has tried to convince Pacquiao that Arum is standing in the way of him getting the fight he truly wants. Earlier this year, several months prior to Pacquiao signing a 2-year extension with Top Rank, Gacal publicly urged the Hall of Fame promoter to release the 8-division world champion from his contract to allow him to make history by fighting Mayweather.

"If that is his condition and if Manny agrees, and it looks like Manny will agree to fight Floyd, the only wa) is no renewal of any contract with Bob Arum. Manny should be a freelancer for the fight to be set. History is waiting and Bob should free Manny. That would be Bob's greatest contribution to boxing history," Gacal explained to Edwin Espejo of back in January. "For this fight, Arum should not be involved. That is the only way for the fight to happen. Everybody wants the fight. Bob should give way if that is the only way. That is the advice I can give to Manny for now."

At the time, Gacal also questioned if Pacquiao's advisor, Michael Koncz, had his best interest in mind when it came time to extend his contract. "The current contract [between Top Rank and Pacquiao] was never shown to me. Mike [Koncz] hid it from me. He did not show the contract to me. He did not inform me. I told Mike, you know that it is for the best interest of Manny that no contract should be signed for the moment because apparently that is what Floyd wants or his condition," Gacal continued in the interview. "Mike looks up to Bob Arum when Pacquiao is done with boxing. When Pacquiao is done, who is he? So he has to maintain his good relations with Bob Arum."

It seems that nearly a year later, Gacal's opinions of Koncz and Arum have not changed very much. Some of you may be wondering why Gacal would have his people reach out to We can only assume that he believed our close ties to Mayweather, who is extremely difficult to reach for most, might get him the meeting he was hoping for. We can confirm, however, that we weren't the only ones that Gacal reached out to, as Pacquiao's former Stength & Conditioning Coach, Alex Ariza, who now has ties to Mayweather, was also contacted directly by Gacal and several other members of Team Pacquiao. Considering that Gacal has been a long-time fixture in Pacquiao's inner circle, one can't help but wonder just how serious Arum really is about wanting to make the mega-fight a reality.

[ Follow Ben Thompson on Twitter @fighthype ]

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