Prior to the April 12 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley on HBO pay-per-view, promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, Inc., criticized his host venue for having posters promoting the May 3 showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana instead of his fight. Now, it looks like Arum's lashing out at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas could mean that Top Rank's business with the most profitable venue in boxing has come to an end.
Here is the MGM-specific portion of Arum's rant press conference rant:
"I know that in the Venetian (Macau), they wouldn't make a mistake like this. They knew what fight they were scheduled, three or four days, and they wouldn't have a 12-to-1 fight all over the building, that's going to take place three weeks from next Saturday. But that's why one company makes a billion dollars a quarter, and the other hustles to pay its debt. There it is! There it is! Say it like it is."
The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that a company newsletter responded to Arum's tirade. Chairman and CEO Jim Murren said:
"I don't approve of bullying by children, and I won't tolerate it by adults in our workplace. An attack on any of our 62,000 men and women of the MGM army is an attack on all of us. Actions have reactions, and this reaction is that your company will not associate with abusive individuals."
THE MGM ARMY!
Anyway, Arum wasn't attacking north of 61,000 of the 62,000 employees, of course, but it does unite everyone to put it that way. Arum surely doesn't take issue with a craps dealer or security guard for the Mayweather posters all over the building. It was the people who let that happen and, in his mind, didn't really promote his fight.
If this does lead to Top Rank and the MGM Grand no longer working together, that would mean that Top Rank would not have fights at the MGM Grand Garden Arena or at Mandalay Bay, both owned by MGM Resorts International. Most likely, it would not lead to Arum leaving Las Vegas, because that would be kind of insane. We would probably see him link up with Steve Wynn, who helped with the Bradley-Marquez fight last October, which was hosted at the Thomas & Mack Center, and a man who has a vast history in Las Vegas as well as in the boxing business.