Manny Pacquiao has every right to be disenchanted with Bob Arum. The legendary Filipino wonder of the world is one of the most electrifying champions the sport has ever witnessed. Pacquiao single-handedly carried Bob Arum and Top Rank on his back the last decade as the most appealing, exciting, and beloved figure in boxing. It’s a rare combination of fighter that only happens a handful of times a century.
But Pacquiao is highly suspicious of Bob Arum now, after the robbery decision the WBO judges awarded to Jeff Horn against Pacquiao in Brisbane two weeks ago.
The motive was certainly there for Arum to betray Pacquiao. Pacquiao is 38 now and certainly in the home stretch of his career. It’s no secret that Arum has designs to build Terence Crawford into a star however Pacquiao has been reluctant to fight Crawford because he knows how politics work and he knows the politics will surely give Crawford the decision win. The politics of boxing want to transfer Pacquiao’s star power onto Crawford so as to create the new superstar. To make more money. Out with the old, in with the new.
This promotional tactic has been used in the past countless times. Don King benefited when Julio Cesar Chavez lost to little known Frankie “The Surgeon” Randall. King also benefited when Evander Holyfield lost to John “The Quiet Man” Ruiz. We could go on and on with other examples of when the established champion lost to a lesser name to build interest in “the rematch.”
Many also adamantly believe Pacquiao was previously robbed against Tim Bradley, which profited Arum with a lucrative rematch when Pacquiao was having trouble finding suitable opposition because of Floyd Mayweather’s incessant ducking. Pacquiao won the rematch but Bradley got a bigger slice of the purse as champion.
Pacquiao has earned Arum countless millions of dollars with all of his blood and guts fights. For all Pacquiao has done for boxing and Arum, he feels he deserves the natural built-in preferential champion treatment or, at the very least, fair treatment from Arum. He did not get it in the Horn fight, which was televised by ESPN to gargantuan TV ratings. Though Pacquiao landed double the punches and battered hometown hero Horn, he “lost” the decision. Arum and ESPN laughed all the way to the bank.
It was ESPN’s return to televising boxing and Pacquiao deserves all the credit for making the show a huge success (Horn was a complete unknown in America).
But according to a Filipino source, Pacquiao is said to be very displeased with Arum right now. So much that Arum is going to fly to the Philippines next week to try to sweet talk Pacquiao into a contract extension.
But you have to wonder how Pacquiao will respond this time. You have to wonder if Pacquiao is ready to reject Arum and connect with a new promoter, one that he can trust.
According to one report, Arum told the media the Pacquiao vs Horn decision was “no robbery”, but straight to Pacquiao’s face Arum said you “clearly won the fight.”
That’s double talk. And double talk can’t be trusted.
We all know that Arum wants Crawford to be his next big thing and the blueprint to make that happen is clear now: Give Horn the rematch win vs Pacquiao then match up Pacquiao’s conqueror against Crawford.
Pacquiao would have to be an idiot to not see the writing on the wall and Pacquiao is no idiot.
Only an idiot would trust Arum again to fairly handle a Pacquiao vs Horn rematch.
And we all know that Pacquiao’s main objective is to land the rematch with Mayweather. Which suddenly seems less remote now given the bad public and media backlash against the Mayweather vs McGregor “fight” and this week’s reported IRS problems of Mayweather.
If Mayweather is suddenly short on cash – which is entirely possible – a Mayweather vs Pacquiao rematch makes a lot of sense. The first fight in 2015 was very close, controversial and inconclusive and can easily be built up into another super lucrative mega fight rematch.
We all know that Mayweather does not want a second fight with Pacquiao because the first fight was not on a level playing field. The first fight looked and smelt like a fix to favor Mayweather, considering that Pacquiao was denied to use a legal painkiller for his shoulder on the day of the fight and Mayweather was excused for taking an ILLEGAL IV the day before the fight. We won’t even talk about how the gambling syndicates in Nevada openly said in a press interview that they needed Mayweather to win a decision to profit.
But Arum is pushing 90 and doesn’t have the patience to wait around for Mayweather. Arum is clearly not on board with subordinating himself to follow Pacquiao’s wishes or interests. Arum wants his profits now and he knows Pacquiao equals big profits no matter who he fights, win, lose or draw.
But Arum might be getting too old to cover his tracks and he may have overplayed his hand this time. Pacquiao is not a happy camper at the moment.
Damage has clearly been done to the Pacquiao-Arum relationship. And this time the damage could be irreparable.
Manny Pacquiao, legendary champion of sport, feels he very likely was betrayed by his own promoter’s greed and lust for the almighty dollar.
Manny Pacquiao knows he can no longer trust Arum without suspicions. Manny Pacquiao does not know for certain anymore if Arum will serve his interests or stab him in the back.
(Pacquiao artwork by Sen Lacson)