Bob Arum, who used to promote Floyd Mayweather Jr. and now promotes Manny Pacquiao, has been one of the suspected roadblocks in the making of a Mayweather-Pacquiao. But the longtime promoter told Yahoo! Sports columnist Kevin Iole he will make the fight against his better judgment...if he can.
"The only reason I want this Mayweather fight is because the public wants it so badly," Arum said. "Boxing is on a real, real roll right now and I don’t want to do anything to get it off that. But if that doesn’t matter to him, OK, it doesn’t matter to him. I have no problem.
"But I would feel I cheated the sport I’ve worked in for so long if I stood in the way of this fight happening. Because of that, I’ll do everything in my power to try to make it happen. Do I really want this happening, though? Other than that, the answer is no."
It's been no secret that Arum and Mayweather haven't been on the best terms since they split for good in 2006. Mayweather long blamed Arum for not advancing his career properly and making him a bigger star, and you cannot argue that since he left Top Rank, Mayweather has definitely become a much bigger star. A lot of that is owed to the fact that a Mayweather fight with Oscar de la Hoya likely wouldn't have happened in 2007 without Mayweather having left Arum. Top Rank and Golden Boy didn't see how important working together was until after that fight.
But Arum has also been adamant that Mayweather frequently turned down opponents, and that he feels Mayweather is terrified of losing his undefeated record. Many in and around boxing feel the same way.
Bob says he won't "play games" with Mayweather at the negotiating table, but will negotiate with Richard Schaefer when Schaefer is given the real go-ahead by Mayweather:
"Once he’s authorized, things will proceed. I’m not going to play Mayweather’s games, though. I’m not going to let my fighter play Mayweather’s games. If Mayweather wants to fight Pacquiao and make a lot of money, he can do so. But God love him, no one is forcing him to fight and if he wants to play games or he doesn’t want the fight, he can do what he wants."
And if the fight can't be made? Arum says he'll look to make a third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. I honestly have little-to-no interest in seeing Pacquiao wipe the floor with the aged Marquez, who would have to fight Pacquiao at a weight that works for Manny and likely doesn't for Juan Manuel. I've said since the Oscar fight that I think a third fight between Pacquiao and Marquez, great as their first two fights were, just isn't appealing anymore. I have no doubt how the bout turns out, and it's not pretty for Marquez. I'd much rather see Pacquiao against the Mosley-Berto winner than I would Marquez.
Iole's column also has an interesting bit where Team Mayweather claims Arum wouldn't let them fight Miguel Cotto. Arum has his own feelings on that claim, and they're strong.