Sports

Bob Arum Gives Manny Pacquiao vs. Sergio Martinez New Life

| by Alex Groberman

It’s time to add a new chapter to the growingly fascinating Manny Pacquiao vs. Sergio Martinez saga.

Just one day after Opposing Views pointed out the Floyd Mayweather-esque territory that Pacquiao was in danger of falling into with the way he was handling Martinez, we got a little movement on the matter. During a recent interview, as recounted by the good folks from BoxingScene.com, Top Rank boss Bob Arum made it clear that this potential superfight was not out of the question. 

"Here is the problem with Martinez. Let me tell you the problem with Martinez. Martinez says 'I'll fight him at 150,' but that's bullsh**. That means he'll dehydrate until the afternoon of the weigh-in and come to the ring at 175, which he's done before. What I say is, if you really want to fight Manny Pacquiao - I have a simple way to do it. You said 150, you will fight at 150, then let's go to a commission, and not necessarily this [Las Vegas] commission....maybe New York, maybe Texas, wherever. And say 'both fighters want to do the fight and they want to go back to the old days and we'll weigh in on the day of the fight, at 150. If he wants to do that, we can start talking," Arum said.

Arum’s concern is valid, and it’s great to see him address it head-on instead of doing his usual song and dance where he simply aimlessly dismisses things he doesn’t want to do. Martinez having to agree to a same-day weigh-in is both totally rational and a very valid prefight requirement to establish. If he put an offer of 150 pounds on the table, he should be forced to stick to that offer.

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The question becomes, however, whether Martinez agreeing same-day weigh-ins would truly appease Pacquiao and Arum. Or, would this be another case of making a demand, waiting for Martinez to agree, then moving the goal post at the last second?

Of course, this whole dilemma stems from the fact that Antonio Margarito permanently scarred Pacquiao and Arum with all of the additional bulking up (and subsequent slimming) the Filipino champ had to do in preparation for their bout. Pacquiao weighted 144 pounds heading into the fight was noticeably put on the defensive a few times by his counterpart precisely due to the latter’s size advantage.

"He was hurting for a month after that fight. We realized that he can't continue to fight all of these bigger guys," Arum said.

Not that it made a difference, after feeling Margarito out for a bit – the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world pummeled him into oblivion too.

Bottom line, kudos to Arum and Pacquiao for not completely ruling out the fight against Martinez. And, by the same token, they also deserve credit for not simply ignoring Martinez’s very genuine statements regarding them not realistically considering him for a match.

Hopefully, once this Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez distraction is out of the way, the Filipino champ will be able to refocus on finding a real competitor like Martinez to test himself against.

Not that watching him perform random tricks isn’t great, though.