Op-Ed: Did Bob Arum step aside to allow Mayweather's access to Pacquiao?

Posted Jan 28, 2015 by Leo Reyes
Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum was absent when Floyd Mayweather talked with Manny Pacquiao during the break of the Miami Heat-Milwaaukee Bucks game at the American Arena in Florida Tuesday and speculations are high that the meeting had the blessing of Arum.
Top Rank Promotions owner Bob Arum
Top Rank Promotions owner Bob Arum
One of the conditions that Mayweather has set for the long awaited fight to happen is for Arum to stay out of the picture in the ongoing fight negotiations.
Mayweather has stated that Arum has been standing in the way of the fight and so long as he is representing Pacquiao in the deal, the bout that fight fans want to see will never happen.
"We’re trying, but it’s been extremely difficult dealing with Top Rank," Mayweather said. "I don’t want to sit right here and point the finger at Pacquiao and say that it’s him, because it’s not Pacquiao. It’s his promoter."
Alex Ariza, who was Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach before joining the Mayweather camp, also fired at Arum saying the fight won't happen so long as Arum is representing Pacquiao in the deal.
“It’s not going to happen. We’re fighting May 2nd but it’s not going to be Manny Pacquiao… Hopefully eventually Bob Arum will blow away in the wind or whatever. As soon as we get rid of him, we can get it on.” Ariza said.
For his part, Arum said it is Mayweather who is to blame for the fight not happening saying that the real reason is that Mayweather is afraid of Pacquiao.
“The real problem is that Mayweather is so damn smart when it comes to boxing and he realizes that of all the fighters fought and all the fighters out there that Manny poses the biggest threat,” Arum told recently in an exclusive interview to
“So to get Mayweather in the ring with Pacquiao is a monumental task. Not because of splits, not because of money, because Manny stands the best chance of anybody that Floyd has faced to beat him,” Arum added.
Arum has been under tremendous pressure to do everything in his power to give the fans the fight that they have been wanting to see.
A no-fight scenario for two of the world's finest fighters would certainly tarnish Arum's reputation as a Hall of Fame promoter.
It is hard to believe that the face-to-face meeting of Mayweather and Pacquiao at the game venue of Miami Heat -Milwaukee Bucks in Florida on Tuesday will happen without the consent of Arum, Pacquiao's longtime promoter.
Pacquiao is under contract with Arum's Top Rank Promotions and he can be liable for breach of contract if he deals directly with Mayweather without Arum's consent.
But Arum needs to show the public that he still cares about the future of the sport that made him a millionaire many times over by stepping aside in the ongoing fight negotiations so that he won't be blamed for what appears to be the biggest fiasco in the sport of boxing.
He probably knows that he will forever be blamed for not doing his share in addressing the public clamor for the fight that every fight fan wants to see.
If indeed Arum stepped aside, he would be praised and declared a hero of sorts for making a last-minute move to save the fight talks from falling apart for the last time.