Promoter Bob Arum, in his patented unfiltered and combustible and sometimes profane manner, held court at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, at a press round table. The Vegas based deal maker was asked about how he thinks the Golden Boy splintering will play out. Will it be a win for the fans, for those craving some of those fights that haven’t been getting made to be fashioned?
“I have no idea where the chips are gonna fall,” he told me. The press still isn’t asking the right questions, or grasping the real issue correctly, he maintained. He said that Richard Schaefer, who resigned from his GPB on Monday afternoon, tried to deflect attention from what Arum says was mismanagement, by focusing on Oscar De La Hoya’s attempt to reconcile with ex promoter and then bitter enemy Arum.
Arum said most writers craft stories around “the word according to Schaefer” but he is of the mind that Schaefer didn’t do Oscar any favors, and the stories should reflect that. Arum says we must all wait to see which fighters are actually signed to GPB, and only then will Oscar see what the value of his company is, beyond the name. Arum, a lawyer by trade, said the lawyer in him wants to to know if Schaefer did Oscar dirty.
“But the fans…” I started to ask, and Arum exploded, before letting me finish my thought, that most fans do not care about this insider-y stuff, and just want to see the best fighting the best.
“Eff the fans, this is a legal issue!” he bellowed, meaning that hardcore legal issues have to play out before we can focus on grass roots stuff, like making fights.
“When will Mayweather fight Pacquiao, that is irrelevant as far as a court of law is concerned,” he said.
So, could we be more likely to see a Canelo fight a Top Rank guy next, because of this move by Oscar, to retake power? “Abso-effin-lutely,” Arum said…if Canelo is signed to Golden Boy and isn’t contracted to only fight on Showtime.
I shifted the topic, and asked Arum if he will be watching the June 14 card at Barclays extra hard, because Roach said he thinks the headliner Ruslan Provodnikov is the lead dog in the race to find Manny’s next foe. “Let me tell you something, the fight I would love to do, and think I am going to zero in and try to do, is Pacquiao against Chris Algieri, after Algieri beats Provodnikov. I think Algieri has a good shot with his style to beat Provodnikov, I think it is a better fight than a lot of people think.”
I told Algieri about the Arum statement. His reaction? “Love it. June 14 first and foremost though. Arum said it is a better fight than people think, he is right. The man knows boxing. I am not surprised by this in the slightest, just happy to be recognized.”
The promoter repeated that he has indeed been talking some to De Le Hoya, socially, and they have talked on the phone. No specifics, Arum said, because Oscar has to figure out which fighters are his. When he does that, then darn right they can do business together.
Arum said in his mind, the crux of the issue is whether or not Schaefer violated his fiduciary responsibilities to Oscar. He does not know if he did or did not, he made clear.
Bottom line: Arum is saying the Golden Boy situation needs to be sorted out more before we can plain theorethical matchmaker….Also, he is giving Algieri more of a chance than 98 percent of the others out there.
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