According to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, Dallas Cowboys Stadium is no longer in the running as a potential venue for the highly-anticipated clash between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. "Richard [Schaefer] called me last night and said he won't go to Texas," Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, revealed earlier today. Arum, Schaefer and HBO President Ross Greenburg were scheduled to meet with Dallas Cowboys officials to discuss a proposal to bring the megafight to Cowboys Stadium. Evidently, Schaefer now has other plans.
"Schaefer refused to go...I was stunned because we all had our plane tickets and all that," Arum would tell Michael Marley of Examiner.com earlier today. "Schaefer just said, 'I'm not going to Texas. I'm not going to do the fight in Texas. I'm not going to waste my time.' That's the explanation," he also reiterated in a conversation with Rafael. "'The fight is March 13 and there isn't enough time to do a fight at an outdoor stadium.' It's bizarre, but that's what he said. I reminded him [about the stadium's retractable roof]. He said it doesn't matter."
Whether or not Schaefer's cancellation has anything to do with negotiations remains to be seen, but it certainly seems strange that he would cancel the trip less than a day before the scheduled meeting. Even stranger is his reasoning given that, as Arum astutely pointed out, Cowboys Stadium has a retractable roof, which would eliminate any issues that an outdoor stadium may have. "This is a fight our side wants and we are working very hard to finalize it. The next time you hear from us is when we have a signed deal or the negotiations have fallen apart," Schaefer would tell Rafael when contacted for further comment. "I want to get a deal done and once a deal is done then we will be available for comments. Until then, there is no comment from our side."
A fight our side wants? When we have a signed deal or the negotiations have fallen apart? No comment from our side? Those aren't exactly encouraging words coming from the man who represents Team Mayweather. Of course, the vague statement from Schaefer is to be expected, considering the self-imposed gag order that both sides agreed to (although Team Pacquiao seems to be a little more loose in there interpretation of the word "gag"). Still, the fact that Arum, who represents the other side of the equation, was not given a more solid explanation begs the question: is the highly-anticipated showdown in jeopardy of falling apart or is this just a matter of Mayweather preferring to fight in the city which he calls home?
[UPDATE: According to a source, Mayweather prefers for the highly-anticipated clash to "take place at home" in his hometown residence of Las Vegas. No official word as to whether or not his preference had anything to do with Schaefer's cancellation.]