By Michael Marley
HOLLYWOOD--Bob Arum, who has done all the political calculations, said that his proudest professional moment will come if and when his boxing cash cow, Manny Pacquiao, becomes president of the Phillipines.
Not that Uncle Bob is planning on tearing up the dance floor, no wild Watuski or even The Hustle, if there is a huge party celebrating Pacquiao moving to Malacanang Palace, Manila's answer to the American White House.
"It's 2022, that's the year Manny would become eligible to run for the presidency," Arum said before Pacman's open media workout. That would be, to me, the biggest achievement of my career, to see this kid how far he has come and how far he can go.
"But I hope I will be alive to see it. I will be age 91. I won't be dancing, I will be in the hospice by then," Arum said with a hearty laugh.
Arum celebrates his 80th birthday in December about a week before Pacquiao puts 33 candles on his own birthday cake in General Santos City.
Whether Pacquiao acends as far as the presidency, Arum said he has gotten a real sense of enjoyment out of the whole experience he's had in handling Megamanny's ring career and watching in an avuncular way as the fighter became a Congressman in his homeland.
"It's been an amazing ride, it really has. There's a real difference in importance, a contrast between Manny and Mayweather and between Manny and every other fighter.
"The importance for Manny is the symbolism he brings to his people and his goal is to continue to help his people. Manny's top goal is not to be the pound for pound best fighter in boxing for five or six years.
"No, Manny's ultimate goal is the presidency. In that sense, maybe we should stay away from Mayweather.
"Maybe Pacquiao could be tainted by some of the things that come out of Mayweather's mouth, some things that are so appalling and so insulting. I'll give you an example.
"We had some rich guys from Singapore who wanted to do Mayweather-Pacquiao. They wanted to host the fight. Mayweather refused to go there because he said the people there are just like Manny, that they are the same.
"Of course, these guys are Chinese, not Filipino, but Mayweather said, 'No, they are all the same, they are all Asians and all Asians are the same."
Certainly, I'd love to get the Mayweather's camp answer to this allegation but the problem is his acolytes act like a telephone is coated with hot molten lava when I (used to) call.
So we take Arum's word because he told me this yesterday, not today and we all know how the promoter dishes out truth only on alternating days.