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Gamboa 50Cent media day 121129 003aArum turns 81 on Dec. 8. Isn't it something how he continues to stay current, react to the shifts in culture, and form unions with unexpected people, like 50 Cent? (Chris Farina-Top Rank)

Will you get a load of the above picture?

That's Yuriorkis Gamboa, who was with Top Rank and jumped ship to the Floyd Mayweather/50 Cent promotional endeavor, which led to lawyers getting involved, which led to Gamboa paying his way out of an entanglement with Bob Arum, on the left. In the center, that's 50 Cent, the rapper/impresario/empire builder who is now in the promotional mix with Arum and company, without the accompaniment of ex bestie Floyd Mayweather, with whom he's had a breakup from, for reasons unknown. On the right, that's Bob Arum, 80 year old Brooklyn born OG who continues to suprise me with how he stays relevant–to use a Floyd term–and how he stays inspired and sharp and committed, with no apparent dropoff in acumen in his sixth decade in the savage science.

I stared at the above photo, for awhile, and broke my gaze with no more clarity on the image than when I first laid eyes on it. Arum's visage doesn't betray, to me, how he feels about the snapshot, and especially the man standing to his right. 50 Cent has long been a slick, smooth operator in the boardroom realm–recall that he made something like $400 million when his 10% stake in Glaceau, which made Vitamin Water, was bought by Coca-Cola, in 2007. As Floyd would periodically hurl a verbal grenade at Arum after the latest round of negotiations (or faux-gotiations if you prefer), and declare that the only way a Manny Pacquiao fight could be made is if and when Manny jumped ship from Arum, bestie Fiddy stayed quiet.

Maybe he ranted with Floyd, away from the media, but by never acting as third man in in the Mayweather-Arum tussle, he stayed above that fray, and thus, kept his options open down the line. Now, we are down the line…and look who stands next to Arum. Did 50 Cent make a business decision, decide that the wiser move in the short and longterm is with the master dealmaker Arum, who has forgotten more about the art of the pugilism deal than all the rest of the promoter suits combined? Is that why he and Mayweather split up their entity, which never made it out of the egg? Does a part of Arum wonder if he's getting played in the most diabolically clever Trojan Horse con the fight game has ever seen, if Fiddy is actually in cahoots with Floyd, and looking to collect info to aid Money? (The tidbits Fiddy, of Fif as I guess he's known among the cool, has been dropping about the deteriorated relations between him and Money, including millions owed, and admission that they had two fistfights, does lend credence to the theory that the squabble is the real-deal.)

The above photo does leave me feeling that the shrinking prospect of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight getting made just went from the size of a pea, to a dehydrated pea…I mean, I've suspected for awhile that I can't see Mayweather entering in any deal that would enrich Arum to any meaningful degree…and if he and Fiddy truly are on poor terms, and Fiddy does as was rumored two months back get into doing some deals with Pacquiao, wouldn't Floyd be that much less inclined to sign on to fight Manny? Because now fighting Manny would enrich one man who he thinks held back his career, and another man who functioned as a brother he never had who then  spurned him, and is consorting with an enemy…

Readers, maybe I'm overthinking things. How do you see this all playing out? Will Fiddy and Arum form a tight bond, hit the clubs together, make it rain in concert, count stacks together?

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