In Oscar de la Hoya's latest blog entry at the Ring Magazine's web site, he suggested that promoter Bob Arum had shown favoritism toward Manny Pacquiao on November 14 by getting the fight into a bigger ring than normal. It was a glaring mistake, of course, as it was way back in August that the ring issue first came up.
At the time, there were rumors that Cotto-Pacquiao would be held in a 24-foot ring. It was totally false information. Nevada regulations call for a 20-foot ring, and the fight will be in a 20-foot ring.
The Ring essentially apologized for the error and removed that portion of de la Hoya's entry, which originally read as follows:
"I believe that’s the reason Bob Arum arranged to have a big ring, to give Pacquiao an advantage. Arum promotes both fighters but, obviously, it benefits him more if Pacquiao wins so they’re going to favor him."
What the Ring didn't print was Arum's full, angry statement about the alleged favoritism. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports interviewed the Top Rank chief, who had this to say:
“Is that little (expletive) crazy?” Arum asked. “Who writes this (expletive) for him? I’m absolutely outraged. He can pick whoever he wants to pick to win the fight and he can say whatever he wants to say about me, but to write that I arranged to have the ring made bigger to favor anyone is a complete (expletive) lie and is just not true. For as long as I can remember, the rings in Nevada have been 20 feet by 20 feet and I didn’t do (an expletive) thing about changing it.”
Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer -- who had cleared this up back in August -- backed Arum:
“Mr. Arum absolutely did not ask for a different ring size,” Kizer said. “We haven’t been asked that in a long time. As you know, our standard ring is 20-by-20 and no fighter, no promoter, nobody, has asked for a different size in quite some time. The size of the ring on Nov. 14 will be 20-by-20, like it always is.”
Some things never change.