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Thread: Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao

  1. #1

    Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao


    For better or worse, the business of boxing has settled in on making only two fights a year for its biggest stars. There are a few outliers, like the Mexican junior middleweight, Canelo Alvarez, who is on pace to fight three times this year and the American super-middleweight Andre Ward, who is on pace to never fight again to spite his promoter. For the most part though, it's two fights, which give the promoter and PPV network a shot at drumming up mega-events with a weeks-long promotional campaign, an accompanying reality mini-series and trivial lead-up moments captured on YouTube all because on fight night, both men will enter into the theater of the unexpected and reveal their destinies.
    But if an elite boxer is only going to fight twice a year, those fights have to be good. The promoters owe it to their fighters, the fighters owe it to their fans, and they both owe it to the competitive spirit of that foregrounds all athletics.
    So excuse me for feeling rather underwhelmed at the prospect of Bob Arum matching Manny Pacquiao this coming fall with Chris Algieri, the newly-crowned junior welter from Long Island who wrested the belt by decision from Ruslan Provodnikov last Saturday. Arum had already disclosed his desire to bring Pacquiao back to Macau again in 2014, and he doubled down by weakly committing to give the Algieri-Provodnikov winner “first dibs” against Pacquiao. No offense to Algieri, who gave the boxing world a new lesson about heart, but . . . thanks but no thanks.
    There's a whole host of guys who don't have the initials FM or JMM who could form a more compelling, let alone more lucrative fight, with Filipino sensation than a light-punching boxer with no name and a limited game. Marcos Maidana, anyone? Danny Garcia? Amir Khan? Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, hell even Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner all offer more interesting fights than with the Pacman than Chris Algieri.
    Even at this point, the 82-year old Arum is still trying to tap into new business and more money and sees Pacquiao as his golden goose to bridge boxing interest into the emerging middle class of the world's most populous country. I understand that Top Rank is investing heavily in the still unrealized potential of flyweight Zou Shiming, but for the sake of the entire sport, should it come at the expense Pacquiao's blood and sweat?
    (Catering to the low-wage Chinese common man, Arum has suggested selling the fight card with Shiming and Pacquiao for $4. Can I take this opportunity to point out that boxing fans all over the world are having a hard time shelling out $60-$80 per fight and would love to buy the fight for $4 too? PPV buy numbers are trending down, which is due to a variety of factors, but the cost is certainly prohibitive to the casual fan.)
    Pacquiao, god willing and the creek don't rise, is looking at five more fights before calling it a career. Arum's top consideration should be making these fights a series of movements that continue to rise towards to grand crescendo, giving Pacquiao a shot at the late-career glory that Arum's former charge Roberto Duran enjoyed in the late 80's. Even at 35 years old, he’s an elite athlete and the Bradley fight showed he’s got plenty in the tank.
    As always with Manny Pacquiao, you have to wonder who is really looking out for him. It's possible that Pacquiao feels a strong pull of fealty towards Bob Arum and may just rather blindly trust him than analyze it more deeply. It’s been a mutually beneficial relationship. It has always been hard to tell if Pacquiao's right-hand man Buboy Fernandez can play the role of advisor in protecting his friend's best interests, but someone should.
    Last year it made sense for Manny to fight the one-dimensional slugger Brandon Rios in Macau, 10 months after his devastating knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez. It remains to be seen whether Arum can lure any of the aforementioned name fighters to Southeast Asia to fight Pacquiao, most of them would greatly prefer the more neutral and convenient location in the United States. It may be a smart business decision in the long-run for Arum, but it just doesn’t make sense for Pacquiao right now.
    Certainly Freddie Roach did his part in throwing some cold water on Arum's Macau gambit,http://www.thesweetscience.com/news/...t-set-in-stonetelling TSS's Michael Woods earlier this month, “They talk about fighting in China, if these big fights happen, they gotta move the location, because Marquez, Ruslan, those are big fights in America . . . if a China fight does come off, with a high quality tough-tough fight like against Ruslan, they don't know who Ruslan is over there . . . some of those opponents are not gonna go to Macau.”
    Whoever is looking out for him better do their best to keep their man interested. He lives a kind of charmed life of a boy who never grew up, is constantly surrounded by a large entourage of friends and hangers-on and is wonderfully impulsive and charismatic. He's a man of many hobbies and distractions, whether it be politics, show business, gambling, charity work, or coaching basketball.
    Being and staying a champion in boxing requires near-constant routine, discipline and focus. Twenty years into a career, the roadwork, sparring and rope-jumping has to become mentally rather monotonous. When Pacquiao wants something in the ring, he gets it. When he's bored and unfocused, he's just not the same guy.

  2. #2
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    Re: Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao

    OK, Ward is not trying to sit out his contract to "spite his promoter..." We established that already, it's not fair that continually gets this rep.

    "But if an elite boxer is only going to fight twice a year, those fights have to be good. The promoters owe it to their fighters, the fighters owe it to their fans, and they both owe it to the competitive spirit of that foregrounds all athletics."

    Wonderful statement.

    Hmmm, perhaps TSS needs a weekly segment/commentary as boxing business counterpart to Forbes. No one on the boxing beat is covering the business dealings with that type of legitimacy.

    Shoot, I see respected reporters from the hugest of outlets (Bayless, Skip) routinely butcher the most basic of concepts and thereby not informing the public adequately.

    Business dealings are a major part of any entertainment sub genre. And let's face it: it has to be explained why the two best fighters can't just get in there ring and fight.

    For the casual fans who don't understand, it has to turn them off.

    That would be cool.

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    Re: Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao

    Quote Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
    OK, Ward is not trying to sit out his contract to "spite his promoter..." We established that already, it's not fair that continually gets this rep.

    "But if an elite boxer is only going to fight twice a year, those fights have to be good. The promoters owe it to their fighters, the fighters owe it to their fans, and they both owe it to the competitive spirit of that foregrounds all athletics."

    Wonderful statement.

    Hmmm, perhaps TSS needs a weekly segment/commentary as boxing business counterpart to Forbes. No one on the boxing beat is covering the business dealings with that type of legitimacy.

    Shoot, I see respected reporters from the hugest of outlets (Bayless, Skip) routinely butcher the most basic of concepts and thereby not informing the public adequately.

    And let's face it: business dealings are a major part of any entertainment sub genre.

    That would be cool.
    I think you'd be the man for the job Shadow. You really seem to know your stuff when it comes to the business side of this shady sport, better than anyone I know.

    Personally, I have no interest whatsoever in the business side of boxing.

    As far as I'm concerned, if you're not a fighter or a writer, and you're involved in boxing, then you're probably a crook in it for the money, and you're probably not only in the way of big fights, but actively exploiting fighters. And that's not something that entertains me one iota.

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    Re: Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao

    Quote Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
    OK, Ward is not trying to sit out his contract to "spite his promoter..." We established that already, it's not fair that continually gets this rep.

    "But if an elite boxer is only going to fight twice a year, those fights have to be good. The promoters owe it to their fighters, the fighters owe it to their fans, and they both owe it to the competitive spirit of that foregrounds all athletics."

    Wonderful statement.

    Hmmm, perhaps TSS needs a weekly segment/commentary as boxing business counterpart to Forbes. No one on the boxing beat is covering the business dealings with that type of legitimacy.

    Shoot, I see respected reporters from the hugest of outlets (Bayless, Skip) routinely butcher the most basic of concepts and thereby not informing the public adequately.

    Business dealings are a major part of any entertainment sub genre. And let's face it: it has to be explained why the two best fighters can't just get in there ring and fight.

    For the casual fans who don't understand, it has to turn them off.

    That would be cool.
    Shadow, I know we discussed about the Ward contract situation before and you opened my eyes a little as to what's going on.

    One thing though I still don't understand...Why did Ward sign the extension with Goosen in the first place prior to the Dawson fight? Less than a year later, Ward wanted out. That's what's very odd and strange to me given the fact they worked with each other for a considerable amount of time prior.

    Its not like Ward signed with a brand new promoter and then didn't like what he saw when they first started working together. Ward worked with Goosen for a long time. Ward did not see signs that maybe he should be thinking about going a different direction prior to signing that extension?

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    Re: Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreyman View Post
    I think you'd be the man for the job Shadow. You really seem to know your stuff when it comes to the business side of this shady sport, better than anyone I know.

    Personally, I have no interest whatsoever in the business side of boxing.

    As far as I'm concerned, if you're not a fighter or a writer, and you're involved in boxing, then you're probably a crook in it for the money, and you're probably not only in the way of big fights, but actively exploiting fighters. And that's not something that entertains me one iota.
    Reason I say it is because it must be really, really hard for a casual fan to decipher how the heck the sport can't get the best together and fight.

    Realistically, or maybe ideally speaking, it would be the best if the fans said we want Fighter A vs. Fighter B -- now fight! Unfortunately it's not that simple.

    If people aren't up-to-date on what goes on on the business end, then I can see why they'd be pi$$ed off. And in a perfect world, guys should just get together and match up.

    But even in basketball, fans understand that the salary cap prevents the biggest superstars from getting together and forming super teams (except Heat). Or why guys don't stay loyal to one team.

    For that reason, I think it's important that casual fans understand things a bit more so they also don't attribute certain things to popular assumptions such as "boxing is corrupt."

    It should never be the biggest story; the athletes are. However in basketball, most fans still understand the limitations of the salary cap, they understand "mid-level exception" and "veteran minimum."

    But do casual boxing fans understand "promoter options" (which explains why Arum is adamant about matching Cotto and JCC with Golovkin), percentage splits, A-side/B-side and things of that nature? I'm not sure.

    Again, it shouldn't be the focus. But I definitely think it would help to educate the casual boxing fan a lot more.

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    Re: Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao

    Quote Originally Posted by oubobcat View Post
    Shadow, I know we discussed about the Ward contract situation before and you opened my eyes a little as to what's going on.

    One thing though I still don't understand...Why did Ward sign the extension with Goosen in the first place prior to the Dawson fight? Less than a year later, Ward wanted out. That's what's very odd and strange to me given the fact they worked with each other for a considerable amount of time prior.

    Its not like Ward signed with a brand new promoter and then didn't like what he saw when they first started working together. Ward worked with Goosen for a long time. Ward did not see signs that maybe he should be thinking about going a different direction prior to signing that extension?
    Not completely sure but according to the one complaint, it's because he didn't honor the new agreement. It's not that they were unhappy before. They became unhappy when he didn't honor the new deal, supposedly.

    According to a lawyer I asked, enforcing an oral agreement in court is like "a Hail Mary pass in the fourth quarter." It's a last resort that usually never wins.

    They had an oral agreement that was met, initially (for the Dawson fight). However, Goosen may have seen the writing on the wall and reneged on something that wasn't -- for whatever odd reason -- in writing and chose to STIFF the co-promoter out of his cut.

    Also, at the time of the contract, they were happy with the direction of his career. He was about to go to the SS final. Then he fought Dawson. After that, he got injured. This seems to be where the issues really started.

    So in short, I think they were happy when they signed the new deal. It seems like they just don't feel he's honoring that new deal.

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    Re: Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao

    Quote Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
    OK, Ward is not trying to sit out his contract to "spite his promoter..." We established that already, it's not fair that continually gets this rep.

    "But if an elite boxer is only going to fight twice a year, those fights have to be good. The promoters owe it to their fighters, the fighters owe it to their fans, and they both owe it to the competitive spirit of that foregrounds all athletics."

    Wonderful statement.

    Hmmm, perhaps TSS needs a weekly segment/commentary as boxing business counterpart to Forbes. No one on the boxing beat is covering the business dealings with that type of legitimacy.

    Shoot, I see respected reporters from the hugest of outlets (Bayless, Skip) routinely butcher the most basic of concepts and thereby not informing the public adequately.

    Business dealings are a major part of any entertainment sub genre. And let's face it: it has to be explained why the two best fighters can't just get in there ring and fight.

    For the casual fans who don't understand, it has to turn them off.

    That would be cool.
    Skip Bayless? How about Stephen A. Smith! I felt he was on the fast track to being the best ever at his craft. I assumed he was that rare guy who just gets it and happens to be deeply insightful in more than one sport. While I admit I'm still a huge fan of the man, he clearly dropped a notch or three following his rant after the Pacquiao vs Bradley I bout. His comments, and I hope I'm accurate with this, called for a boycott of sorts. It became evident that Stephen A. wasn't aware that the ineptness of the scoring was not Arum/Top Rank based, but defective judging by appointees of state government. Arum, Trampler & Co. are about as good of a cast as can be assembled. They control one half of what will be the greatest generating fight in boxing history. And by quite a bit. Can you fathom a scenario where they would want to see Pacman get knocked off?

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    Re: Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao

    Quote Originally Posted by dino da vinci View Post
    Skip Bayless? How about Stephen A. Smith! I felt he was on the fast track to being the best ever at his craft. I assumed he was that rare guy who just gets it and happens to be deeply insightful in more than one sport. While I admit I'm still a huge fan of the man, he clearly dropped a notch or three following his rant after the Pacquiao vs Bradley I bout. His comments, and I hope I'm accurate with this, called for a boycott of sorts. It became evident that Stephen A. wasn't aware that the ineptness of the scoring was not Arum/Top Rank based, but defective judging by appointees of state government. Arum, Trampler & Co. are about as good of a cast as can be assembled. They control one half of what will be the greatest generating fight in boxing history. And by quite a bit. Can you fathom a scenario where they would want to see Pacman get knocked off?
    Yeah, I remember him talking about this. But I think the boycott was just as much to influence the decision makers behind Mayweather and Pacquiao to finally figure it out.

    And yes, Stephen A. Smith did seem like that cat who had some knowledge because Bayless clearly has little. He always likes to talk about how he used to cover Sugar Leonard but what the heck does that matter? I once covered volleyball because I had to. I know NOTHING of it.

    But that's an interesting question you pose... I don't think Arum, DuBoef and Trampler truly want that mega fight. Even though it could be the greatest generating fight in history, the real breadwinner is the one who controls the promotion.

    Right now, Mayweather has that leverage. And Arum, being the superb businessman that he is, likes to control the whole pie.

    If TR only gets a percentage of that pie, he makes more doing Manny vs Cheap Opponent. A source told me he makes $30m or maybe more on just two Manny fights.

    They won't see that versus Mayweather. The margins just aren't there. Arum makes more doing Manny-Rios than taking a 27-33% cut of Manny's $40m. Add that to the fact that Mayweather is a stylistic nightmare for Manny, they're better off holding off that fight for as long as they can.

    It's reached ridiculous mythical proportions anyway; I think the fight might do regret numbers regardless.

    Anyway, I think you bring up something crucial that lots of people know nothing about or even halfway understand. Te fact that judges are chosen by government and not promoter.

    You promote too from what I understand right? How is it that the hometown fighter will consistently win a fight, earned or not, on smaller shows? Where does the influence come from? Or are the judges on smaller shows how's appointed by promoters in this case?

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    Re: Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao

    Quote Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
    Yeah, I remember him talking about this. But I think the boycott was just as much to influence the decision makers behind Mayweather and Pacquiao to finally figure it out.

    And yes, Stephen A. Smith did seem like that cat who had some knowledge because Bayless clearly has little. He always likes to talk about how he used to cover Sugar Leonard but what the heck does that matter? I once covered volleyball because I had to. I know NOTHING of it.

    But that's an interesting question you pose... I don't think Arum, DuBoef and Trampler truly want that mega fight. Even though it could be the greatest generating fight in history, the real breadwinner is the one who controls the promotion.

    Right now, Mayweather has that leverage. And Arum, being the superb businessman that he is, likes to control the whole pie.

    If TR only gets a percentage of that pie, he makes more doing Manny vs Cheap Opponent. A source told me he makes $30m or maybe more on just two Manny fights.

    They won't see that versus Mayweather. The margins just aren't there. Arum makes more doing Manny-Rios than taking a 27-33% cut of Manny's $40m. Add that to the fact that Mayweather is a stylistic nightmare for Manny, they're better off holding off that fight for as long as they can.

    It's reached ridiculous mythical proportions anyway; I think the fight might do regret numbers regardless.

    Anyway, I think you bring up something crucial that lots of people know nothing about or even halfway understand. Te fact that judges are chosen by government and not promoter.

    You promote too from what I understand right? How is it that the hometown fighter will consistently win a fight, earned or not, on smaller shows? Where does the influence come from? Or are the judges on smaller shows how's appointed by promoters in this case?
    Sorry, The Shadow. But Da Manny will kayo "Lil' Floyd's arse early. The whole Mayweather fam know da haps. Holla!

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    Re: Arum in Danger of Mis-Handling Pacquiao

    Quote Originally Posted by Radam G View Post
    Sorry, The Shadow. But Da Manny will kayo "Lil' Floyd's arse early. The whole Mayweather fam know da haps. Holla!
    Even if that were to happen, Bob Arum doesn't believe this. He (or should I say Bruce, who is Bob's filter) doesn't even feel fully confident matching him with AB.

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