Defending Bob Arum is quite hard for a number of reasons. He's a famous liar, well-known to veteran fans as a promoter that tends to totally exaggerate negotiations to ensure that he comes out looking holier than thou.
Team Mayweather wasn't even the first to make these claims. It's been coming out of his own camp.
Michael Marley, the day after Arum's infamous "teleconference," came right out and said it. This was days before Leonard Ellerbe spoke.
Marley, a Top Rank/Pacquiao writer, and a close friend of Arum's, was just as perplexed by Arum's deadline. He didn't get it; he couldn't work out what Arum was up to. So he went digging.
He spoke to his Top Rank people, and was shocked with the answer. Again, this was days before Ellerbe spoke.
Negotiation just hadn't been happening. They'd started, briefly, but capitulated almost instantly, according to Marley.
Marley claimed that Arum had only spoken to Greenburg once, months ago. And that conversation was little more than Arum telling him his demands. Demands that Golden Boy just weren't interested in.
That's basically it. No meetings, no talks, no agreements, no contracts, no deals.
Bob Arum, according to Marley, just spent the next five weeks "blowing smoke to the media," to try and confuse the situation and giving the impression that he was breaking his back to make the deal.
When in truth, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was the last thing Arum wanted for 2010.
Why did the talks fail? According to Marley, contrary to most reports, Pacquiao was unwilling to move an inch on drug testing. And Mayweather was unwilling to move an inch on money.
As another example of the way Arum operates, it also turns out that "Pacquiao accepting 14 days" was just more "smoke" as part of the Arum charade.
The original quote from Pacquiao was 100 percent fake. Arum has admitted as much. The second quote from Pacquiao was real, but for PR purposes. Pacquiao's manager denied it was accurate, when quizzed soon after.
To confirm the charade, only days ago, Arum was asked straight up, what drug terms Pacquiao had agreed to and he was unable to give an answer.
This is a man who had an agreement with Mayweather's people? He couldn't even answer what the supposed drug agreement was?
So what actually happened? According to Marley, Arum made these claims days before anyone from team Mayweather spoke out.
Well, Arum has allegedly been fixing a Pacquiao vs. Margarito bout in the Middle East for months. But he knew full well that he couldn't make the fight without being seen to be trying to make Mayweather vs. Pacquiao first.
Plus, HBO, after pressure from Golden Boy, flat out told him that he'd have to approach Mayweather first, or they would not work on a Margarito fight.
Arum, according to Marley, approached Greenburg with his terms for the fight. Terms, Marley suspects, that were never going to be accepted. Terms, that in regards to drug testing, were even worse than the last fight.
That's basically it. Golden Boy felt Arum was not being serious, and had no intention of negotiating further.
Arum played the media, and proclaimed that he was "waiting for Floyd to accept his offer." Which, I guess, was technically true. The big lie came with Arum's claims that these terms had been negotiated and accepted.
Marley claims that this is just 100 percent false. There were no real talks. No deals. No agreements. No contracts.
In a strange way, neither side is technically lying. Most likely, after taking legal advice, they've worded it all very carefully.
Arum claimed that he was waiting for Mayweather to agree to his offer, and had been dealing with Greenberg. The problem being, his dealings with Greenberg amounted to one conversation in which he sent him an awful offer, knowing full well it wouldn't work. No negotiations, talks, or discussions whatsoever.
Arum's offer. Countdown clock. Lots of BS about "terms being agreed by both sides."
Mayweather's people are technically speaking the truth as well. There were never any negotiations, talks, agreements, deals. Just Arum blowing smoke to the press.
Why did Arum exaggerate his efforts so much? Because he wanted to set up Margarito vs. Pacquiao and couldn't justify it without trying to pin the blame on someone else.
Golden Boy? Well Marley claims that there quite literally was a gag order. It's just the fact that the negotiations ended after about two days. You can tell when the fight fell through. Arum started talking to the media twice a day!
Marley claims that Golden Boy's position with Arum is to just let him talk, and not justify his claims with replies, safe in the knowledge that most of the sport world knows he talks out of his behind.
Arum could well find himself in a tough position, however. Dan Raphael reported that Ellerbe is not only one of the most honest guys in boxing, he's also been speaking to Greenberg regularly for weeks. These daily conversations have reportedly gone on after his claim that basically either Greenberg or Arum is a stone cold liar.
Which suggests to most that Greenberg agrees with his pronouncement.
Again, Marley is a Top Rank guy, and a noted Pacquiao backer. He reported that Arum's claims of "negotiations" and "agreements" were phony, days before any Mayweather person made any comment.
Mayweather's guy's wording is probably a bit controversial, and not 100 percent true, but both Marley and Ellebre are basically singing from the same hymn sheet.
Arum completely and utterly exaggerated all claims of "agreements," "deals," "contracts," and "negotiations."