Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says that his company would not go head-to-head with Floyd Mayweather, but he's not convinced that Mayweather will actually fight on May 4 and September 14 of next year, as was announced yesterday.
Bob Arum isn't a dummy. He says point-blank when asked that he won't run a card opposite a Floyd Mayweather fight, which nobody could have expected he'd even consider.
But Arum isn't convinced that Mayweather really intends to fight on May 4 and/or September 14 of next year, instead believing yesterday's announcement could be a ploy by Golden Boy Promotions to book probably the two most prestigious dates on the U.S. boxing calendar for 2013, and then run lesser events -- events which Arum would consider going head-to-head against.
"Why did they do it? Because what happens if Marquez wins, and we do a Marquez-Bradley fight and we want to put it on May 4th - they would say, 'hey we have the date.' You have it for Mayweather, but you don’t have it for anyone else. That's the game. ... Where would Ellerbe ever make a statement that ‘Al Haymon, Mayweather Promotions are proud to say with our partner Golden Boy'? Since when did Golden Boy, that gets a fee, become a partner? That's part of the bullshit. You can smell it like a mile away."
Given the nature of the rivalry between the two companies -- "blood feud" may be closer to reality than "rivalry" at this point -- it's no surprise that Arum is trying to stay ahead of GBP and figure out if they might be working an angle, which is possible. I'm sure Mayweather does intend to fight on May 4, but a lot of people are really skeptical that he'll fight twice in one year for the first time since 2007, and extremely skeptical that he'll fight twice in a four-month span for the first time since 2004-05.
Even if it sounds like the ravings of a paranoid old man to you, it's perfectly logical to wonder if Golden Boy isn't just trying to save September 14 for Canelo Alvarez -- at which point Arum may consider running what Top Rank is targeting for that date, a pay-per-view rematch between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
After all, this same thing happened this year, and both shows (Chavez Jr-Martinez and Canelo-Lopez) were successful on TV and at the live gate in Vegas.
Of course, September is a long, long way away in boxing terms. A lot can change between now and then, even disregarding Mayweather's possible involvement with that date. But Arum isn't showing any more skepticism than a lot of fans are about Floyd's announcement, it's just he's attaching what's important to him -- those two fight dates -- as well.