Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao’s next fight won’t be at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
And chances are, it will be held outside the glitzy desert city.
This developed following a falling out between Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, and MGM Grand that was triggered by what Arum described as the gaming giant’s shoddy promotional treatment of the recent Pacquiao-Bradley 2.
Arum, chief of Top Rank Promotions, lashed at MGM executives after seeing posters and banners promoting the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana fight on May 3 prominently displayed at the hotel lobby and gaming areas during the Pacquiao-Bradley fight week.
But instead of making amends for the marketing boo-boo, MGM chair and CEO Jim Murren addressed Arum’s tirade in a newsletter, which was leaked by a staffer to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Murren said: “I don’t approve of bullying by children, and I won’t tolerate it by adults in our workplace.An attack on any of our 62,000 [employees] of the MGM Army is an attack on all of us. Actions have reactions and this reaction is that your company will not associate with abusive individuals.”
Murren was obviously referring to Arum, who lambasted MGM officials during the pre- and postfight press conferences of Pacquiao-Bradley 2 which the Filipino ring icon won by unanimous decision to regain the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown.
The 82-year-old Arum, saying MGM disrespected his fighters (Pacquiao and Bradley), has called on Filipinos to boycott the hotel chain. If the rift isn’t settled, Arum can bring Pacquiao’s next fight to Mandalay Bay or other Las Vegas venues.
Arum can also stage it in Texas, where Pacquiao has fought four times, or in New York. If Arum decides to go overseas, Macau could be his top choice.
The Venetian Macao is keen on staging Pacquiao’s next fight despite the low pay-per-view buys (450,000) generated by his victorious comeback bout against Brandon Rios last November.
Arum said The Venetian isn’t after the PPV but wants to enhance its reputation as a new boxing mecca.