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Bob Arum on Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight: It’s stupid if it doesn’t happen

Bob Arum Manny PacquiaoBob 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.

Showtime to reach out about Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight

pacquiao-mayweatherA Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight may be a legitimate possibility, because it sounds like Showtime executives have a strong interest in putting it together.

Mayweather signed an exclusive six-fight deal with Showtime earlier in the year and has already fought twice on the network. He has four fights left and seems headed for a clash with Amir Khan in May. It sounds like a fight with Pac-Man could follow.

Showtime Vice President Stephen Espinoza told the Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire that he plans to reach out to Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum about making the superfight. Espinoza obviously emphasized that the fight would have to take place on Showtime. That could be a major impediment, because Arum has a relationship with HBO, which televised Pac-Man’s last fight.

Arum says he would want the fight to be on both networks the way the Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis was. I really don’t see that happening. You think those competing networks would agree to televise the same fight?

Mayweather has all the leverage in this situation, and I have a hard time envisioning Arum making concessions and cooperating in order to make a deal. I also still don’t see Mayweather having any motivation for taking the fight.

It still seems like each fighter will fight one time before the possible superfight would be made. The only way I could imagine Mayweather agreeing to a fight is if Pacquiao looks vulnerable against his next oppoennet. But if Pac-Man doesn’t look good in his next fight, wouldn’t that take the luster off a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight anyway?

Showtime can make their efforts to set up this fight, but I still don’t see it happening. Mayweather is the real boss, and if he doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao, he’s not going to.

Bob Arum: Philippines wants Manny Pacquiao’s certified tax forms from IRS

Manny PacquiaoManny Pacquiao’s bank accounts in the Philippines have been frozen because of his tax problems.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue in the Philippines says Pacquiao hasn’t proved he paid taxes in 2008-2009. They froze the accounts of his wife and assessed him $50 million in back taxes in July. Pacquiao earned his money fighting in the US those years, and a treaty ensures he won’t be taxed in both countries. But the Philippines wants concrete proof from the IRS that Pacquiao indeed paid taxes those years.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum confirmed that the Philippines wants the proof from the IRS.

“Filipino authorities confirmed that Manny is not required to pay double tax. If Manny paid U.S. taxes for fights and endorsements that occurred on U.S. soil, he is not required to pay double taxes in the Philippines,” Arum said in a statement via Boxing Scene.

“For each of Manny’s fights that occurred in the United States, including those in 2008 and 2009, Top Rank withheld 30% of Manny’s purses and paid those monies directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Top Rank has deposit confirmations for each payment. Top Rank has done the same for all U.S. endorsements it has facilitated on Manny’s behalf.

“Top Rank submitted copies of the EFT deposit acknowledgements to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as proof of payment. The BIR received the documents but directed Manny to obtain “certified” documents directly from the IRS itself.

“As I am sure people appreciate, obtaining certified copies of documents from the IRS takes time. Manny made the formal request to the IRS and we have every expectation that the necessary documents will be furnished to the BIR very soon.”

In other words, Arum says this whole thing will be resolved. But there have long been reports that Pacquiao has had tax problems in the US. That’s a big reason why his most recent fight was in Macau, where the tax rate is lower, and why he doesn’t plan on fighting in the US in the future.

Because his accounts were frozen, Pac-Man says he had to borrow money to aid the typhoon victims in his home country.

Freddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao would beat ‘slow’ Floyd Mayweather

pacquiao-mayweatherThe Manny Pacquiao camp has been banging the Floyd Mayweather fight drum pretty hard over the past few weeks, and the latest words come from Freddie Roach, who believes his fighter would beat Floyd.

Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) defeated Brandon Rios by unanimous decision on Saturday in Macau and looked very good in the fight. It was his first victory in over two years, though that stat is really misleading; Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley in my opinion, but the judges screwed him on that split decision. I also thought he looked pretty good against Juan Manuel Marquez until Marquez caught him with a huge shot in the sixth round to end the fight.

Prior to the Pacquiao-Rios fight, promoter Bob Arum said he was open to Pacquiao and Mayweather fighting. That was a change from his previous stances, as Arum always found ways to impede the fight (as did Floyd). It’s no surprise that Pacquiao’s side wants the fight now — he’s not as highly regarded as Floyd anymore, and he has less to lose. All that adds up to less leverage, which would ostensibly make negotiations go more smoothly.

If Floyd and Manny end up fighting next year as Top Rank Promotions hopes, Roach, who is Pacquiao’s longtime trainer, thinks Manny would win the fight.

“Mayweather in his last two fights has been slow, he doesn’t move as much as he used to,” Roach told AFP. “I think Manny’s speed will overwhelm him. Mayweather is not good against southpaws. And he has trouble with speed.

“Manny Pacquiao, he’s back, but I never really had the thought he went anywhere.”

Roach has been talking a lot of trash lately. Maybe calling Mayweather slow is his way of trying to goad the undefeated boxer. Then again, Roach was talking trash when he said Rios was a punching bag who hits back, but his words turned out to be accurate. Maybe the same will be true of his prediction about Pacquiao-Mayweather. But there’s only one problem: I still don’t think Floyd will agree to the fight — facing Pacquiao is too risky for him.

Manny Pacquiao batters Brandon Rios: ‘the speed got to me a little bit’

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao defeated Brandon Rios by unanimous decision Sunday morning in Macau for his first victory in over two years. He looked fast and powerful, and he proved to be the championship-caliber fighter he was prior to getting leveled by Juan Manuel Marquez last year.

Pacquiao destroyed Rios for nearly the entire fight. One judge had it a 12-0 shutout for Pac-Man, while another gave Rios a round and the third judge gave him two rounds.

Pac-Man delivered a devastating combination of shots to Rios’ body and head, and landed more than twice as many punches as his counterpart. Most of his damage was done to the body, where stats show he landed 241 of his 281 punches. Rios hit Pacquiao with a fair amount of body shots and landed 138 punches overall, but he spent most of the fight covering up and trying to protect himself.

Rios admitted after the fight that Pacquiao’s speed was too much.

“The speed got me a little bit,” Rios told HBO’s Max Kellerman.

Though the stats and outcome show Pacquiao dominated Rios, the Filipino actually said Rios was one of his toughest opponents.

“I consider this one of the toughest fights of my career,” said Pacquiao, who improved to 55-5-2 (38 KOs).

Rios came out of the fight with swelling and a huge bruise below his right eye.

Brandon Rios face

He described Manny as “very fast” and “very awkward” in style, while also calling him one of the best fighters in the world, along with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Though he was thoroughly defeated, Rios did enough damage to put a mouse under Pacquiao’s right eye.

Manny, being the thoughtful and caring fighter that he is, said after the fight that he was dedicating his victory to his countrypeople affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios camps get into fight at gym (Video)

Freddie Roach Robert Garcia

The camp members of Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios got into a big altercation at a gym in Macau on Wednesday morning (local time) that involved racial and homophobic slurs as well as an assault. The fight may or may not have been staged to drum up publicity for the fight between the two men, which is taking place in Asia and has not received the type of buzz a Pacquiao fight used to generate.

The supposed fight between the two sides arose after Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, complained that Rios’ camp was still in the gym past their allotted time. Rios’ team was supposed to have the gym — located in the Venetian in Macau — from 9-11 a.m. Pacquiao was scheduled to have the gym at 11.

Supposedly upset over Rios still being in the gym, Roach approached Rios’ trainer, Robert Garcia, interrupted his interview and told him to get out. Roach supposedly called Garcia a piece of s— and told him to go f— himself. Alex Ariza, who is now Rios’ trainer and was previously Pac-Man’s trainer before he was let go because of friction with Roach, got involved and kicked Roach in the chest.

Ariza was seen on video mocking Roach’s Parkinson’s Disease and calling him a “stuttering prick.”

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Manny Pacquiao’s manager Michael Koncz suffers mild heart attack in Macau

Michael KonczMichael Koncz, Manny Pacquiao’s adviser/manager, suffered a mild heart attack on Tuesday in Macau and was hospitalized for at least the second time on the trip, per a report.

Yahoo! Sports boxing/MMA reporter Kevin Iole says that Koncz suffered a mild heart attack and was taken to the hospital. Iole reports that Koncz was walking around and talking with people as Pacquiao worked out Tuesday and did not seem to show significant signs of distress.

Iole also says Koncz was hospitalized Sunday because of a mild case of Bell’s Palsy.

Pacquiao will face Brandon Rios on Saturday night (US time). The fight will take place Sunday morning in Macau.

Photo: YouTube/NicoAkia