Will Bob Arum Let the Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight Happen?

Bill CodyCorrespondent IIIJune 7, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - MARCH 12:  Promoter Bob Arum talks in front of Cowboys Stadium before the weigh-in for the WBO welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and Joshua Clottey of Ghana on March 12, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  Pacquiao and Clottey will fight March 13, 2010 in Cowboys Stadium.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

There was an interesting article over the weekend from Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole. The first half of the article was about how almost everyone involved in the proposed Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao showdown were keeping their mouths shut. 

The reason: No one wants to screw up the fight by negotiating in the press.

There was a quote from Richard Schaefer saying, "No comment." Another from Freddie Roach saying he wouldn't talk about anything regarding contract negotiations.

Then the second half of the article was a bunch of quotes from Bob Arum regarding how Mayweather's superior PPV sales figures were more than negated by the fact that Manny brought in high roller Asian gamblers.

“Manny Pacquiao is, right now, the only athlete or entertainer who can bring in the Asian high rollers in big numbers,” Arum said. “They are the only big gamblers who are left. There are very few American high rollers any more. It’s all an Asian game. The last guy [before Pacquiao] who could do that was Mike Tyson. They would come for Mike Tyson."

“Now, there are even more big gamblers in Asia. China is a lot different from when Mike Tyson fought. There are many, many more. They [Las Vegas casinos] are all licking their chops for any Pacquiao fight, particularly a Mayweather fight, because any Pacquiao fight will bring in 4,000 of the biggest gamblers in the world. That’s a trump card that nobody else has.”

For those of you who can't read between the lines, what Arum is doing here is negotiating through the press. Which pretty much negated the whole premise of Iole's piece.

I don't even know how anyone would know if Manny brings in Asian high rollers or how you could quantify such a thing. But if it's true then that's for the people in Vegas to bring up and tell Floyd's people when they negotiate the site fee. 

Not for Arum to speculate about in the press.

I guarantee you Floyd's people read Iole's article. Floyd's people read everything.

I can guess what they said when they read it, too. You don't need to be a fly on the wall to figure out something like that. 

Add this to the fact that there have been numerous rumblings about Pacquiao perhaps fighting Antonio Margarito or maybe even a rematch with Miguel Cotto. Those rumblings are not coming out of the Mayweather camp.

They aren't coming from boxing fans either. I don't know a single boxing fan that wants to see Pacquiao fight either of these guys.

Both Margarito and Cotto are damaged goods. Plus Manny already destroyed Cotto once. 

The only way these rumors could have ever seen the light of day is that they are from the Top Rank camp. Which means they came from Bob Arum.

I find it hard to believe that Arum actually thinks he can sell Manny versus either of these guys. But he might try. His contempt for fight fans seems to know no bounds.

As I have said before, I would love to see Floyd and Manny get it on if for no other reason than what it will do for the sport of boxing. It would be the kind of crossover fight that comes along once every 10 years or so. The kind of fight that keeps the sport going.

But when I read an article like Iole's I start to have my doubts. Arum needs to do like everyone else and negotiate behind closed doors.

That's the only way the fight will happen.