Arum's Obvious Agenda: Use Mosley To Bait Mayweather

BY Frank Lotierzo ON October 10, 2009
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The hypocrisy in boxing is a joke sometimes and on occasion it's hard to take such a great sport seriously. Only it's like a drug and once it gets into your system you're hooked and there's nothing you can do about it. Which applies to most fans, fighters/ex-fighters along with trainers/ex-trainers.

When there's a super-fight in the making or on the horizon, watching and listening to promoters and television executives can often border on being comedic. One day you have HBO's Ross Greenburg saying that Floyd Mayweather has taken the baton from Oscar De La Hoya and is currently boxings’ biggest gun. That was coming on the heels of Top Rank's Bob Arum earlier taking shots at Mayweather from every conceivable angle possible. Then again it's not as if Greenburg and Arum don't have an agenda or entity to push or sell.

When it comes to giving one side of the story and shading the facts Bob Arum is one of the best, but he's doesn't own exclusive rights to that club. Remember when he said Luis Resto should be banned from boxing for life after fighting his fighter Billy Collins with padding removed from his gloves? Then 25 years later defended his fighter Antonio Margarito when his trainer was caught attempting to wrap his hands with a substance like Plaster of Paris prior to his title defense against Shane Mosley. Now that's consistency.

In case anyone hasn't noticed lately Arum has been using Shane Mosley's name for leverage and to brow-beat and embarrass Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the media. Arum is in full attack mode due to his anticipation of how hard it will be to put together a fight between his star fighter, Manny Pacquiao, and Floyd Mayweather next year if Pacquiao beats Miguel Cotto next month. With Mayweather having adamantly stated that he'd never agree to a 50/50 purse split for a proposed bout with Pacquiao, Arum has slowly begun to implement plans B & C and whatever else it'll take to gain leverage over Mayweather at the negotiating table for a potential fight with Pacquiao.

Arum has done everything but write it on the moon where everybody can see it that in his opinion Floyd Mayweather will never fight Shane Mosley. With the obvious implication being Mayweather fears he can lose to Mosley, more so than it's a case of the money not being right. It appears that Arum believes if he can convince Mayweather that his only options are to fight Pacquiao or Mosley in his next fight, Floyd will be more willing to give up a couple percent to Pacquiao via the purse split as opposed to taking the bigger percentage of less money facing Mosley, who is the perceived bigger threat to beat him.

If I were Arum I too would be using every trick in the book hoping that I could subliminally nudge Mayweather into thinking his only legitimate option is fighting my fighter. However, we are talking about Floyd Mayweather and he doesn't care what anyone thinks or says. He'll fight whoever he wants regardless of what the perception is among those in the boxing community, and Arum of course knows this as well as anyone.

I'm not shy about being a Mayweather critic and believe a year after he retires he'll be a year old ghost, just as he was when he retired in early 2008. As far as him fighting Mosley, I believe there's good reason why he won't. First of all it's not the biggest money fight, although it's one of them. In addition to that Mayweather didn't outclass De La Hoya when they fought and Mosley does everything as a fighter faster and better than De La Hoya, everything. In truth Shane is a grade better fighter than Oscar. So there's a compelling case to make for Shane over Floyd. Then again Mosley will be almost 40 if the fight ever happens. That said Mayweather is no one’s fool and won't be bullied into fighting anyone he doesn't want.

Arum's reasons for trashing Mayweather are very transparent. But let’s be honest, if Mayweather were to fight Mosley and win, is it plausible to think Arum would turn around and split the purse with Floyd if Pacquiao were still considered one of or perhaps the top pound-for-pound fighter in boxing? Of course it's not. If Mayweather beat even a 39 year old Mosley he'd probably leap frog Pacquiao and be considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, and deservedly so. Not to mention a legitimate case could be made that Floyd actually deserves the bigger percentage of the purse split over Pacquiao coming off a victory over Mosley.

In reality Arum doesn't want Mayweather to fight Mosley. And if Mayweather signed to fight him Arum would admonish Floyd for fighting an old man. Not to mention how much Arum would dismiss a Mayweather victory over Mosley if it happened. I could just see Arum on ESPN the next day telling anyone within earshot how Floyd didn't do anything except beat an old fighter who already lost five times prior to Mayweather fighting him.

After listening to Arum and Mayweather, especially after Mayweather's one-sided victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, I'm not convinced we'll see Pacquiao-Mayweather if Manny beats Cotto. With Arum and Mayweather knowing so much about each other and how the other one thinks, can you picture either backing down from the perspective that their side warrants the lion’s share of the money? If Pacquiao is impressive against Cotto, there's no way in the world Arum will let him agree to purse parity.

Based on their history expect Arum to toss more arrows Mayweather's direction than the opposite. Arum will do all that he can to try and diminish Floyd with the thought behind it being he can get Floyd to take the smaller percentage if Pacquiao-Mayweather is to be realized. Mayweather won't fall for it and in all likelihood if Pacquiao and Mayweather fight, they'll agree to a 50/50 purse split or the fight won't be made. The only trump card Arum has is Pacquiao can make a ton of money without fighting bigger fighters. Pacquiao's legacy is much more solidified than Mayweather's is. Manny could get blasted out by Cotto and he won't take a hit historically as a result of it. The perception of Pacquiao having an advantage in one way or another in his signature fights is non-existent. Whereas Mayweather is one loss or bad decision away from possibly being more remembered for that than his previous fights.

One thing is for sure, if Pacquiao beats Cotto which is certainly not a given, it'll be more entertaining and fun watching Arum and Mayweather tear each other apart then it'll be watching Pacquiao and Mayweather face each other in the ring. In truth Arum has already started doing such way in advance.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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