If there is one person who has consistently planted his feet into the sand and resisted a Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. showdown, it’s undoubtedly Top Rank boss Bob Arum.
From the very beginning, Arum’s adverse reaction towards pitting his golden goose against the undefeated Mayweather has been bright as day. We here at Opposing Views and a number of other publications took note of it in the early going but, for whatever reason, the Top Rank head honcho was given freedom to slip out of addressing this fact by a lot of people.
Finally, after Pacquiao’s victory over Juan Manuel Marquez a month ago, members of the Filipino champion’s own stable began to wonder why Arum was so reluctant to set up a Pacquiao versus Mayweather megafight. Trainer Freddie Roach, quite clearly, said that Mayweather was the next logical opponent for Pacquiao. The always-outspoken Alex Ariza took it one step further, and questioned Arum’s leadership and the way he has run Pacquiao’s career as of late. And, as a result, the general public began to analyze Arum’s role in the failed negotiations between Pacquiao and Mayweather with a little more scrutiny.
It goes without saying, of course, that many Golden Boy employees and rival promoters have questioned how seriously Arum wanted to have Pacquiao fight Mayweather for a long time as well.
These days, though, with a certain light being shined on his affairs, Arum is far more welcoming of a potential Pacquiao versus Mayweather showdown than he used to be.
During a recent interview with USA Today, the topic was broached, and Arum offered a very (seemingly) honest reply:
“I'll tell you the truth. My guy (Pacquiao) wants that fight. He really wants that fight. I want that fight. And I want it to happen next. I believe Floyd wants that fight to happen. Now how it happens, how we go about doing it, that's a little difficult. The difference in personalities between Manny and Floyd is just tremendous,” Arum said. “Hopefully, we'll be able before the new year to bridge that gap and make that fight happen. For me, frankly, it was not a task I was looking forward to. And I think there's an example where Todd, who's a lot nearer their ages, and a lot calmer than me, will play a major role.”
For all of the things that are said on a daily basis about how Pacquiao and Mayweather ultimately control whether or not this match gets put together – don’t underestimate Arum's role. He is without a doubt the most powerful man in boxing, and there is very little that he wants that he doesn’t ultimately get. If he really wanted to set up a Pacquiao versus Mayweather fight two years ago, he could have done it. Same goes for a year ago.
Same goes for the here and now. If Arum is telling the truth about being behind this bout, then Pacquiao versus Mayweather might be right around the corner.
If not – then it’s a virtual guarantee that the fight doesn’t get made.