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Stephen Espinoza: Arum not being truthful

Another day, another accusation of falsehoods being spread by Bob Arum...

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Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Last week Bob Arum released another statement to the media saying that their side has agreed to all terms to fight Mayweather and that they've "signed everything." Arum is unequivocally presenting the story to the general public that their side has signed a contract to make the May-Pac fight, but that they are still awaiting for Floyd to sign.

It seems that any agreement to not negotiate the fight in public, and specifically not to discuss it to the media, has largely been ignored. Top Rank and other Pacquaio representatives have been discussing the negotiations pretty incessantly to the media and Manny even publicly declared a deadline to make the fight several weeks ago (which certainly can been argued to be negotiating in public).

Stephen Espinoza, however, has now come out to dispute the claims by Arum, specifically stating that there is no written contract that Arum and Pacquiao could have ever signed (because one hasn't been drafted), and accused Bob of being willfully untruthful by saying that they've signed everything and are waiting on Floyd.

"Signing what? No contract has been drafted yet. What the hell is everyone signing?" questioned Espinoza, before the executive was asked whether negotiations were ongoing for the proposed $250m clash. "Yes, we're still trying to make the fight."

When asked if perhaps Pacquiao's side has agreed to terms in principle, he flippantly responded:

"You can sign a contract in principle? Must have missed that day of law school," he said.

Then, in an interview with FightHype, Espinoza elaborated on why Arum continues making these public statements.

"To get to the specifics, Floyd isn't holding anything up. No one is waiting on Floyd to rubber stamp or sign anything. Arum isn't being truthful on this and he knows it. There is no contract that is awaiting Floyd's signature and Bob Arum knows that. Floyd has been absolutely clear with all of us, with Leslie Moonves, with Al Haymon, and with me, that he wants the Pacquiao fight. That's what we've been working on for weeks. We've made what I call significant progress, but there's still open issues which have to be resolved..."

"A lot of the stuff that has come out from Arum is baffling to us. I can only guess as to what his motives may be. Maybe he thinks that this is creating some public pressure on Floyd to get the deal done, but the irony of the whole thing is no one needs to pressure Floyd. Floyd has wanted this all along. If people saw the terms that have been negotiated, it's clear Floyd wants to make a deal. He doesn't need this PR campaign to convince him that he needs to make the deal. He wants to do it for himself, for the fans, for the sport of boxing, and no one needs to pressure him into making that fight. Then you start to wonder if someone is consistently mischaracterizing the negotiations and trying to demean the other side, is that person really trying to make a deal? Someone who's trying to make a deal doesn't go out and publicly misrepresent what's going on with the negotiations. It's a complete mystery to us," said Espinoza.

With each passing day the fight looks less likely to happen, though many never thought it was going to happen in the first place. But as of now, rumors persists that HBO and Showtime are still meeting to iron out an agreement for the PPV split between the networks. However, there are still many out there who are questioning if Arum was ever truly going to allow this fight to take place, judging by his actions over the last several months.

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