SO WHATEVER happened to Bob Arum’s scheduled dinner-serenade with Mexican boxing great Juan Manuel Marquez last week?.
Nothing. There was no dinner. No dollar serenade, either.
Arum has instead rescheduled the affair.
But only after having played a very sharp card.
He left everything to Marquez by telling him to state how much he wanted.
Name your price, Arum told Marquez.
In the game of poker, that’s what could be called a boundless bluff.
It, in a way, was as intriguing as that “offer he can’t refuse” made famous in the classic film Godfather.
Sorry, but Juan Manuel Marquez, 39, definitely Mexico’s most precious, most revered boxing property today, did not bite.
There had been no word from the Marquez camp at press time yesterday.
If, say, Marquez had as much as sent a hint he would love to negotiate, Arum would’ve hollered in typical Jewish glee.
Arum was definitely prepared to strum his dollar guitar in that aborted dinner.
He could’ve also tried a strangle, maybe equal to what was obviously done after Pacquiao had initially hesitated to sign for a fourth encounter with Marquez last year.
No guitar, no strangle cord.
It could also be said that Arum did try a no-miss close-up shotgun blast.
The target was nowhere near.
Unlike Pacquiao, Marquez did not happen to be beholden to Bob Arum.
Or, if at all, not as deeply beholden to the tested, if not always trusted, premier promoter.
Arum, of course, did mean well, that fifth fight between the bitter rivals being an ardent wish among majority of boxing fans.
Unfortunately, Arum did not have cards stacked in his favor.
For one, there are bigger factors, considerations that could blot out the promise of being the highest paid boxer from Mexico of all time.
There, for one, was the sage advice from Don Jose Sulaiman, overstaying head of the World Boxing Council based in Mexico City, to look beyond mounds, maybe a mountain, of dollars Marquez could rake in.
“One big punch could cause you to lose the happiness in your life in the future,” Don Jose explained.
Jose Sulaiman did not have to explain that a repeat win over Pacquiao would not amount to nothing much, as far as nobility and Mexican pride count.
But one punch, of the kind that lustily toppled Pacquiao before the end of the sixth round in Las Vegas last December, could erase everything.
Not only for Marquez, but for the whole of Mexico, which has regained original pride following Juan Manuel’s noble conquest of the stormy wonder who had dusted off a slew of Mexican warriors until the epic crushing.