Twice a year or more the Manny Pacquiao show hits Hollywood like one of the many spectacular movie premieres that occurred yesteryear, but scarcely today.
No longer is it Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor that open to klieg lights splattering the night sky. Today, it’s Pacquiao and his entourage walking through an army of well-wishers, autograph hounds and media members packing the Wild Card Boxing gym.
One person familiar with both eras is Bob Arum, the president of Top Rank who knows a thing or two about promoting.
In his vast experience he’s tinkered, pampered and propelled the careers of Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, Oscar De La Hoya and now he has Pacman.
With the Filipino superstar Arum’s experience widened to include Asia for the first time as he traveled to the Philippine Islands on several promotion junkets. Once again the Las Vegas resident showed the world how to promote a fighter, even one from Asia.
Easy stuff for Arum.
Didn’t he show the world he could promote Mexican fighters? He conquered that dilemma and now he’s conquered the Philippines. He’s probably better known in that island country than here in the U.S.
“Everybody in the Philippines knows me,” said Arum while at the media day for Pacquiao last week. “Wherever I go people want to talk to me. I have to sneak out or else I get caught up in a wave of people. So does Freddie Roach.”
Arum has guided Pacquiao through the maze of pot holes that can sometimes tangle budding super stars. Now Pacquiao stands to make more than $25 million against Antonio Margarito.
“I think both fighters will come in at full strength,” Arum says of the fight that takes place on Saturday Nov. 13, at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The fight will be shown on HBO pay-per-view. “I know Margarito is in great shape.”
Other fight chatter
Puerto Rico’s Juan Manuel Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs) defends the WBO featherweight world title against Mexico’s Rafael Marquez (39-5, 35 KOs) on Saturday Nov. 6, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight features two knockout specialists from rival areas, but Lopez is the younger and stronger fighter. Marquez has the experience. The fight will be televised on Showtime and also features Allan Green (29-2, 20 KOs) against Glen Johnson (50-14-2) in a super middleweight bout.
France’s Myriam Lamare (17-3, 9 KOs) defends the WBF junior welterweight world title against Italy’s Lucia Morelli (14-1, 7 KOs) on Saturday in Marseilles, France. Morelli, 31, holds the WFC title and fights out of Germany. Lamare is making her first title defense.
WBC junior flyweight titleholder Omar Nino (30-3-2, 12 KOs) defends against fellow Mexican Gilberto Keb Baas (33-20-4) on Saturday in Merida, Mexico. Also scheduled to appear on the card are WBC junior bantamweight Ana Maria Torres (22-3-2, 13 KOs) and junior featherweight Jackie Nava (22-3-2, 11 KOs) in separate fights.
Great Britain’s Gavin Rees (33-1, 15 KOs) fights undefeated John Watson (13-0) for the vacant BBB of C lightweight title on Saturday in Wales. Also, Jason Cook (26-3-1, 13 KOs) fights Barrie Jones (16-5) for the vacant junior welterweight title.
WBA titleholder Lisa Brown (18-4-3) beat Jeri Sitzes (14-10-1) in a non title bout on Saturday in Ontario, Canada. Brown holds the junior featherweight world title but it was not at stake. It was the third time Brown has beaten Sitzes by decision.
IBF middleweight titleholder Sebastian Sylvester (34-3-1) successfully defended his middleweight title winning by unanimous decision against Mahir Oral (28-3-2) on Saturday in Germany.
Norway’s Cecilia Braekhus (15-0, 3 KOs) stopped Sweden’s Mikaela Lauren (6-1) in the seventh round to win the WBO, WBC and WBA female welterweight world titles on Saturday in Germany. The fight was stopped 40 seconds in the seventh round.
A.J. Banal (23-1-1, 18 KOs) won by disqualification in the seventh round against Luis Perez (26-5) on Saturday in a bantamweight clash in the Philippines. Also, Mark Melligen (20-2, 14 KOs) stopped Bladimir Hernandez (18-4, 16 KOs) in the third round of a welterweight bout.
Former Olympian Gary Russell Jr. (13-0, 9 KOs), a featherweight, won by decision over Lupe De Leon (8-12) on Thursday at Club Nokia. Other winners were junior lightweight Yakubu Amidu (17-2-1), super middleweight Dion Savage (10-0), lightweight Ramon Valadez (3-1), and lightweight Fidel Maldonado Jr. (5-0).
California’s Urijah Faber fights Japan’s Takeya Mizugaki in a mixed martial arts fight on Thursday Nov. 11 at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. The World Extreme Cagefighting group has now been formally added to Ultimate Fighting Championship banner. Its fighter will be included in future UFC fight cards. For more information (800) 745-3000.