Murderer! Bob Arum killed not only the fight of the decade, but probably the fight of my young lifetime. Manny Pacquiao was to step into the ring at the MGM Grand to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. on March 13th. Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, had a deal in place with Mayweather’s handlers for this fight, Golden Boy Promotions. The negotiations went smoother than anyone could have anticipated. Then, at the 11th hour, Mayweather states that the fight will only happen if Pacquiao agrees to full fledge drug testing all the way up until the bell sounds on March 13th.
Whoever is to blame for this fight falling apart, Arum no doubt had a hand in it. He’s now moving on with Pacquiao for a March 13th pay per view fight with Joshua Clottey. The fight will be held at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Mayweather itinially insisted that he’d keep the March 13th date at the MGM in Las Vegas and was reportedly set to take on light hitting Paulie Malignaggi, but late Monday evening word came out that a Shane Mosely fight is on the horizon. Sugar Shane was set to take on Andre Berto in a welterweight unification bout on January 30th, but Berto, a Haitian-American pulled out due to being mentally and physically exhausted from dealing with the catastrophe in Haiti and said that he needs to be with his family. Sadly, at least eight members of Berto’s family were killed in the recent earthquake.
A specific date hasn’t been set, but it’s possible that it could be March 13th on PPV directly opposing the Pacquiao-Clottey fight. While I’m immensely disappointed the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight isn’t taking place, both these fights are great match-ups that should be highly competitive and entertaining.
Bob Arum spoke Friday with Pound for Pound on Hardcore Sports Radio to give his version of the story and his reasoning for pulling the plug on the mega fight that might not ever happen.
Arum on if he’s ever been part of a negotiation that started so good and ended so poorly:
“Yeah, it just sometimes happens. Egos get in the way, and if a fighter is not being guided by smart people. Fighters fight, and they have a lot of pride and ego, and if there’s not someone trying to counsel or lead them and trying to deal with their ego, things can go south very easily. I think that’s what really happened here. Mayweather went off on a tangent and there was nobody on his side to reel him in. It’s unfortunate, but fight fans should not despair, Manny (Pacquiao) is fighting Joshua Clottey, a real tough welterweight. It’s a tough, tough fight and if he wins that fight there is always later in the year for Floyd (Mayweather) to come around and fight Manny. The fact the fight isn’t happening now, doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future.”
On if you start the negotiations if the fight were to happen later at square one, or if you pick up where you left off:
“That would depend. Who knows where we would start off? I think there’s so much money in Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather fight that now went down because everyone dug in their heels, I think that everyone will be amenable to be more reasonable to see that it happens. I don’t want to cast blame, I feel very strongly that our side, the Pacquiao side, was not to blame for this going down, that the insistence on blood testing was off-base. Why reiterate that now? We’ve moved on. We’re fighting Joshua Clottey on March 13th.”
On if he thinks its good for boxing to have two pay per views going on the same night in boxing:
“Of course it’s not good for boxing, but let me say a couple of things before you get carried away. Number one, Floyd Mayweather has to get in the ring with somebody. So far I haven’t heard a name and there’s no fight on the board. Secondly, March 13th is an important date for us because that’s the date the Cowboys Stadium is available, and Manny is running for congress. If we don’t the fight done by the middle of March, he can’t fight again until probably later in the year. March 13th is no magical date for Floyd Mayweather. I think it’s sort of being malicious. He can go to plenty of dates later on. We cannot because of Manny’s political ambitions.” (Editor’s note: Obviously this interview took place before Berto pulled out of his fight with Mosley)