Even Bob Arum doesn’t understand what Bob Arum says half the time.
By now everyone has picked a side in the never-ending feud that exists between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. You either blame one or the other for a fight not happening up to this point, and you’ll continue to blame that specific fighter if a match ultimately never gets put together.
However, perhaps we need to re-examine Top Rank boss Bob Arum’s role in negotiations for this fight constantly falling apart. Keep in mind, he always has been and always will be the middleman for all of Pacquiao’s bouts, so however he chooses to transmit fight stipulations -- relating to money, PEDs, etc. -- is how the Filipino champion will ultimately hear about it.
Over the last two years, the one re-occurring thing we’ve heard is Pacquiao, Mayweather and Arum constantly spewing completely contradictory information as it relates to the dream match that never was. At one point or another, there have always been publicly stated differences on what purse size each side demanded, what drug-testing stipulations each side demanded and who specifically refused to agree to the other’s requirements.
Now, it could be that all sides are playing PR spin games, trying to save their own respective images with the fans Or, maybe Arum is attempting to foil a superfight between Pacquiao and Mayweather because, long-term, it has the potential to hurt his golden goose more than help him.
Assuming a fight were put together between Pacquiao and Mayweather, it’s reasonable to believe that we’d see the largest amount of money in the history of the sport be earned. However, the flip side to that is, if Pacquiao were to lose, all subsequent paydays would be completely, totally and unquestionably reduced.
Maybe it’s in Top Rank’s best interest to only have Pacquiao fight other fighters within the company's stable because it guarantees that he’ll keep winning all the while accumulating steadily solid paydays.
Obviously everyone can have their own conspiracy theory on the matter, but here is what we know for certain. We know, via an interview Arum had with The Telegraph recently, that he never really wanted Pacquiao vs. Mayweather to come together.
"…One of the reasons I never really was so keen on a Mayweather fight which I now truly believe is an easy fight for Pacquiao is because how Manny is going to be tainted by some of the vile things that Mayweather comes out with. Even though he'll be the good guy, God knows what Mayweather is capable of saying,” Arum said.
"It's one thing to talk about how much better a fighter he is and Manny can't do this or that, but Mayweather, who has no sensibility in this, is capable of insulting the country. The ignorance is so appalling."
What does that even mean? In fear of the nasty things that Mayweather -- a known bigmouth with zero credibility -- may say about Pacquiao, Arum was willing to forfeit putting together one of the most highly anticipated bouts in boxing history? Really?
Couple that type of nonsense -- which Arum periodically drops to the press -- with the admission of trainer Freddie Roach that even he isn’t fully aware of why negotiations fell apart between Pacquiao and Mayweather, and you see why this whole mess is a lot more complicated that many would have you believe.
At the end of the day, here is what we know for certain: Mayweather wants to fight on May 5, 2012. More specifically, he wants to fight Pacquiao on May 5, 2012.
The ball is now in Pacquiao’s court.
Will he let Arum torpedo a potential deal over nonsensical stuff like negative comments from Mayweather? Or will he grant fans the match they’ve been yearning for with no pause for the last two years?
Only time will tell.