Bob Arum is one of the biggest reasons why Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather never fought when the two were at the peak of their games and popularity, but the promoter’s tune has now changed regarding the superfight.
The 82-year-old Top Rank promoter is two weeks removed from Pac-Man’s win over Brandon Rios in Macau, and he wants his Filipino superstar to square off against the undefeated Mayweather. Arum conducted an interview with USA Today and was asked whether the elusive fight could happen.
“Yes, if people stop posturing. Absolutely. It can happen,” Arum told USA Today’s Bob Velin. “It’s stupid if it doesn’t happen. They owe it to the sport. What, is Mayweather going to fight Amir Khan? Who gives a (expletive)? We’ve announced we’re willing to make anything happen. Now somebody has got to contact us so we can sit down and explore how it can happen. Isn’t that the way normal people deal? You can’t wave a wand. I’ve said unequivocally, we’re ready to sit down and see if a deal can be reached.”
One of the biggest reasons people have said the fight wouldn’t happen is because Mayweather despises Arum, who is Floyd’s former promoter.
“This idea that Floyd hates me or I hate Floyd is poppycock. Maybe the people around him are saying that. But Floyd and I, and certainly Todd (duBoef, Arum’s stepson and president of Top Rank) and Floyd, have always had a wonderful relationship. These so-called writers are saying, ‘Well, it can’t happen, because Floyd hates Bob Arum.’ Floyd doesn’t hate me, like I don’t hate him.”
In the interview, Arum somewhat admitted that Pacquiao has financial issues, but he attributed it Pac-Man’s generosity with charities. He also made it sound like Pacquiao continues to fight and will continue to fight in order to afford his lifestyle. The entire interview is well worth a read for boxing fans. Arum explains why he’s taking more of a global approach to boxing rather than focusing on the US, which he believes is a strong but stagnant boxing market.
But as I said before when we posted a story about Freddie Roach saying Pacquiao would beat Mayweather, it’s awfully convenient timing from Top Rank to suddenly express interest in the Mayweather fight. Arum came up with a million and one excuses to impede the superfight. I’m not saying Mayweather would have agreed to fight Pac-Man a few years ago, but you better believe Arum stood in the way. Whether it was drug testing, pay-per-view money, venues, or anything else, Arum always had a reason why the fight couldn’t happen. Now that he recognizes he and Pacquiao need the fight more than Floyd does, they want it. They want the money and hype that they can only get from fighting Floyd.
After Floyd fights Amir Khan and Manny destroys whomever next year, I really would like to see the two meet. It won’t have the same appeal it once did, but few fights would get fans more excited than Pacquiao-Mayweather.