Is Pacman unhappy with Arum?By Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ON THE same day that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was expected to arrive in Manila to meet with Manny Pacquiao, the Pacman suddenly left for his hometown General Santos.
Braving the rains and floods of Metro Manila, Arum flew from the United States to discuss with Pacquiao his next fight which was tentatively scheduled this Nov. 10.
Arum was accompanied by his wife Lovee.
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“It’s just like Pacquiao to do something as inconsiderate as that,” commented a colleague during a press conference for Johnriel Casimero, who had just returned from a successful defense of his IBF light flyweight title against the erstwhile undefeated Pedro Guevara of Mexico.
“Arum is 81 years old, he had to fly thousands of miles to meet with him, and Pacquiao doesn’t even think of all the trouble his promoter has gone through just to see him.”
“If Arum wanted to pursue the meeting, Pacquiao said Arum would have to fly to GenSan,” my colleague added.
It was unclear then if Arum would fly to GenSan or just take a flight back home.
Was the eight division world champion playing hard to get or was he deliberately avoiding a meeting with Arum? But why?
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The first thought that came to my mind was that the Pacman probably had a chip on his shoulder, that maybe after having a longer time to think or after getting enlightening feedbacks, he realized or started to suspect that Arum was part of the conspiracy to defraud him of a victory against Timothy Bradley last June 9. After all, Arum was also the promoter of the younger Bradley and putting his chips on him would ensure him a longer and more lucrative business future.
When I compared notes with the other boxing scribes, I found out that two of them had similar thoughts.
However, one of them said that there was probably no malice when Manny decided to fly to GenSan, disregarding an earlier appointment with his promoter.
“You know how Manny is, he’s just like that. He acts on impulse. He seldom honors appointments and has no regard for time. Nagkataon lang (It just so happened) that he had to break an appointment with Arum.”
But the scribe admitted that Manny could have been avoiding the meeting with Arum because he was no longer interested in fighting any of Arum’s proposed opponents—Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto.
“Manny wants to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., but The Money has pronounced that this will only happen if Arum is not part of it. Perhaps his not being in Manila when Arum arrived was a first step towards this direction,” said the scribe who has covered majority of Pacquiao’s fight.
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Last Friday, Bob and Lovee Arum flew to GenSan where they laid out a familiar proposal. As expected, they presented the pound for pound king with three possible opponents: Bradley, Marquez and Cotto.
Pacquiao said he would decide in a week’s time.
The Arums are expected to fly back home this weekend with the identity of Pacquiao’s November opponent still unknown.
One scribe at the Casimero presscon said Pacquiao is willing to wait as long as it’s Floyd he’d be waiting for.
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“Did you read that story on him (Mayweather) in Sports Illustrated? It was the very first feature on him after he was released from jail,” the scribe said. “There was a very interesting quote,” he added.
“Pacquiao is an unbelievable boxer. Hopefully we could make the fight happen in the future,” Mayweather was quoted in the article.
“So why is Floyd suddenly singing a different tune? Gone is the arrogance. How uncharacteristic of him to praise Pacquiao whom he had done nothing but insult in the past,” said the scribe, as he speculated on the possibility of direct and confidential negotiations between the Pacquiao and Mayweather camps.
After all, Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz has hinted that there are certain matters that they have kept from the press.
I told the scribe we probably would know in a week’s time.
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