Though the chatter has quieted down some in the last couple of weeks regarding a potential May 5 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, Top Rank's Todd duBoef says that he feels the fight is a legitimate option, and had nice things to say about Floyd in an interview with Chris Robinson:
"In 1996 I signed him and took a very big interest in trying to help him out and develop him in his career. Because, those early years are the most important years because you have to trust somebody and we both trusted each other. I appreciated Floyd’s comments and inside of me I have a very sensitive place for Floyd. There’s a place in my heart for the growth that we both had together and I think it’s important, if the two of us have to sit down, I welcome it. I’ve always been there to listen to him, to whatever his issues are. I think he understands that I express myself to him and we understand each other very well."
During this most recent process, whatever it really is, even Bob Arum has said that he appreciates that Todd and Floyd can still speak with one another with no issues, and it seems like Arum believes that duBoef will be the go-to man if they are to truly talk turkey with "Money" Mayweather. Most likely, if a fight between Floyd and any Top Rank fighter happens, it will be duBoef at the wheel.
Then there's the Golden Boy issue. In all ways, it seems like that whole battle is back on, but duBoef is diplomatic there, too:
"We’ve had no issues with them. I think you saw that, in September, we used Daniel Ponce De Leon for [Yuriorkis] Gamboa, that was their fighter. We’ve offered them [Marcos] Maidana, [Lucas] Matthysse on separate shows in November. I don’t find any issue."
This is promoterspeak, of course. It's nice that he says this, that he doesn't "find any issue," but obviously there are issues. A good chunk of Oscar De La Hoya's life is now spent on Twitter complaining about Bob Arum in an attempt to convince everyone that he and Golden Boy are the white hats trying to elevate boxing while Mr. Grinch tries to steal away with the big fights and make sure they don't happen.
There are issues between the companies. Arum and Oscar are no more on good terms than Arum and Floyd. Richard Schaefer seems like he wants the companies to work together, and honestly I think Arum does, too, when it's the right deal, but Schaefer has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to Arum, too, and vice versa. Arum always pulls out that "Swiss banker" bit despite the fact that Schaefer has established himself in the boxing game. I think that pisses Richard off, and Schaefer is a guy who isn't going to take insults or shots lightly. He fires back.
But does anyone ever really say anything bad about duBoef? No. The whole game could change when Todd really takes over at Top Rank after Bob steps down. It's not that I don't think Bob Arum does anything right, and obviously the man can still promote an event.
The old beefs and grudges, though, do get in the way of business. Arum likes to point out that he'll work with Don King as some sort of evidence that he doesn't let personal rivalries gum up the works, but King is a third-tier promoter at this point, so it's not the same.
duBoef, as far as I know, has no serious axes to grind. As much as I'm not trying to too greatly dump on Arum here, or put too much faith into Todd, the day he takes over Top Rank could be like a parting of the cloud cover in American boxing.