Who’s on top in the Pacquiao-Arum tussle?
They have not communicated clearly, but veteran promoter Bob Arum had continued to assure there was no rift whatsoever between him and world boxing superhero Manny Pacquiao.
For starters, Arum, in setting up Pacquiao’s next fight, promised something “nice and unique for Manny,” in a Las Vegas card headlined by the Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford WBO welterweight championship.
Arum paired Pacquiao against the busted Mike Alvarado, a former world champ, in the undercard of the Horn-Crawford fight.
No way, Pacquiao cried. He blasted Arum’s sweet package as a big insult.
Arum made no direct reply, and tried to make it appear there was nothing wrong.
However, the feud started to simmer in the open after Pacquiao stood up and announced he would be promoting himself in an event scheduled in Kuala Lumpur on June 24. Pacquiao picked WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse for a foe.
Stunned, Arum tried to play it cool, saying he would wait for Pacquiao’s Malaysian backers to show the money.
At the same time, Arum tried to make it clear Pacquiao was still under contract with his Top Rank outfit.
When it became clear Pacquiao would be in partnership with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy
Promotions for the KL event, Arum dug in and insisted to exercise alleged promotional rights. He said he would set up television coverage, complete with ESPN viewership and marketing.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao announced that the launch of the Matthysse fight, originally scheduled in KL for March 22, would be moved to Manila on April 4.
There also rose insinuations Pacquiao could’ve been momentarily stalled.
Was there a stand-off?
Arum has metamorphosed from being a promoter to a fight saboteur, declared Aquiles Zonio, Pacquiao’s chief communication officer.
Explained Zonio: “Arum, for the third time, tried to sabotage the fight by calling Pacquiao’s Malaysian financial backers. For the record, Arum had sabotaged two previous negotiations for the holding of a Pacquiao fight outside of the United States. Arum called up Pacquiao’s financiers, threatening to file a lawsuit if Top Rank was not included in the promotion.”
The Pacquiao supporters had predictably backed off.
There will be no turning back this time, declared Zonio, official Team Pacquiao mouthpiece.
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