Bob Arum, Top Rank head honcho and the brains behind the business side of Manny Pacquiao’s career, has always been an interesting character.
Despite his somewhat smarmy tendencies to cheat, lie, hustle, lie, promote and lie, he has never really committed any cardinal sins that people of his ilk didn’t also commit before and after he came along. In essence, he was as sleazy as the rest, but he was just better at it. Legendary, even.
As such, any time he speaks on anything boxing related, it’s worth paying attention to. Recently, Arum spoke to Michael Marley of BoxingScene.com regarding Pacquiao’s upcoming fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s forthcoming bout versus Victor Ortiz, and the chances of Mayweather and Pacquiao finally getting into the ring together.
When Marley asked Arum whether Mayweather’s September fight against Ortiz helps or hurts the interest in Pacquiao’s November match against Marquez, the Top Rank boss had this to say:
“I’ll tell you the truth, if they put on a good fight, a fight that the fans like, well then it helps us on Nov. 12.
“If that fight is a stinker, then it will hurt us. You get a buzz going forward from an exciting fight and you get hurt by a stinker when you’re the next event after that. So this is why I want Mayweather-Ortiz to be a good fight.”
Arum is right, of course. In a sport that is pining away, thirsty for public interest, having its two brightest stars competing a month or so apart is the next best thing to those two stars actually fighting each other. There is really no feasible scenario where Mayweather v. Ortiz can be a bad thing for Pacquiao v. Marquez, barring a complete meltdown of the world’s economy between September and November to the point where nobody can afford to purchase PPVs in the latter month.
Marley then got Arum to give his prediction for the fight, and unlike Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, he doesn’t seem to think that Ortiz stands much of a chance.
“If Mayweather just boxes, just does enough to win, then he wins. The kid (Ortiz) is very inexperienced in many respects and I’ll tell you what I don’t like is that he lunges a lot. He punches in a lunging way and he leaves himself open like that. He may be made to order for Mayweather.”
Regardless of what ends up happening, September and November are shaping up to be the best consecutive months for the sport of boxing in a long time.