By Rick Reeno
Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, is furious with some of the statements that were made by Billy Keane, manager of former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., in an earlier article on BoxingScene.com. Earlier today, Keane reached out to BoxingScene to respond to an earlier interview with Arum.
For several weeks, Arum and his company were attempting to finalize a July HBO Pay-Per-View event, where WBA/IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin would have faced Chavez at the super middleweight limit of 168-pounds. The main sticking point, which caused the fight to fall through, was a clause in the bout agreement which extended Chavez's contractual obligation to Top Rank.
In an earlier interview with Ernesto Castellanos of NotiFight/BoxingScene, Arum discussed the ongoing contractual dispute with Chavez Jr.
Keane was angered by some of the statements.
"In response to Bob's most recent misrepresentations and outright lies in his latest interview with BoxingScene, Bob's strategy has always been that if he says things loud enough and long enough someone will eventually believe it - but it won't work this time. Does he really think the public is that stupid that they will believe that the reason Chavez and Golovkin is not happening is because Bob was trying to be so protective and helpful to Julio? This is just more of his nonsense thinking the public and everyone else, except him, are stupid. [Regarding] Bob's promises, commitments and for that matter his contractual obligations - did Tim Bradley ever get the $10 million that Bob promised him for a rematch if he were to beat Manny Pacquiao in their first fight? He has to realize that the fans are not that dumb and the fighters are not intimidated or afraid of him - and certainly Julio is not," Keane told BoxingScene.com.
Arum reached out to BoxingScene to set the record straight regarding Top Rank's position, the offers that were made to Chavez Jr., and the claims being made by Keane.
Arum indicates to BoxingScene that Chavez is obligated to Top Rank for one more fight and has until October of 2015 to fulfill that obligation. Top Rank made an initial offer of $6.6 million to face Golovkin, with a clause for a two-fight extension. After Chavez rejected the initial offer, Arum says a second offer was made for $7 million with a one fight extension and Chavez had until June 2015 to fulfill that one fight obligation. If Chavez lost to Golovkin, then Top Rank would guarantee him $5 million for the next fight. And if he beat Golovkin, then Top Rank would guarantee him $10 million for the next fight.
Arum suspects, based on some of the recent comments in a BoxingScene article, that Chavez was never shown and/or informed of Top Rank's second contractual offer for $7 million dollars with a one fight extension.
"[Keane] says that I'm a liar. What am I lying about? The problem is - either he is dumb or a double-agent. Either way he is not serving Chavez, because he doesn't understand the difference between an option and an obligation. The contract that went to Chavez, the final contract, which was $7 million plus an upside for the Golovkin fight - and then if he lost a guarantee of $5 million for his next fight, which would have to be done by the end of June of next year, which was before my contract expires [in October 2015] - or a minimum of $10 million dollars, had he won, and that also had to be done before the end of June. Those were the obligations on my part, contractual obligations," Arum explained to BoxingScene.com.
"And then he says 'well look at Bradley, he promised Bradley $10 million to fight Manny.' The difference was, when Bradley fought Manny the first time [in 2012] we had a provision in there that said 'if you win the fight, we have an option to promote a rematch guaranteeing you $9 million.' And we specifically declined to exercise the option because it wasn't financially viable. An obligation is a contract. Now, if you don't perform under the contract you can get sued, but we always perform under the contract that we have with fighters. No fighter claims that he didn't get paid what we agreed to pay him. An option, that's our choice, whether we go ahead and do the fight, which we would have had to pay him $9 million, or we could decline to exercise the option. That's legal business. And this guy either shouldn't be advising if he doesn't understand that - or if he does understand that and he's trying to dissemble for Chavez, he's committing fraud."
"I am really teed off here, because I really don't believe that Chavez, from what he's saying, was ever informed of what the deal was that we offered. And this just isn't something that 'Bob said,' we sent him a contract. Now Chavez, on yesterday's BoxingScene, talked about a $6.6 million dollar deal with an extension for two fights. That was the first deal that we proposed and the first contract we sent. That was rejected. Then a few days later we sent the deal that I told you about. Chavez I don't believe is making this up, because he was right on about the first contract that we sent, but apparently they never showed him the new contract."
"My suspicion, and I don't know this, is that Chavez never saw the final contract that we sent. We didn't send it to Chavez. We sent it to Billy. We never deal with the fighter directly. If as I suspect, that the contract that we sent was never shown to Chavez, that is fraud - and the worst kind of malfeasance. We know that the father knew what the true deal was and the father went to see Julio and they kept the father from seeing his own son. This is terrible what these guys are doing."