By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has blasted Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer for lying to the media that no negotiations took place for a November 13 megabuck fight between pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Arum referred to the statement issued by HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg which was carried by respected boxing writer Mike Rosenthal of Ring Magazine in which Greenburg confirmed Arum’s claim that negotiations had been going on for some two months.
Significantly, Ring Magazine is owned by Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya.
Greenburg said in his statement “ Fights like Mayweather vs Pacquiao are significant because of these fighters ability to connect with sports fans around the world. It's unfortunate that it won’t happen in 2010. I had been negotiating with a representative from each side since May 2 carefully trying to put the fight together. Hopefully someday this fight will happen. Sports fans deserve it.”
One of Mayweather’s advisers Leonard Ellerbe had issued what Rosenthal branded “a bizarre statement” claiming no negotiations ever took place. That was supported by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer which, in the face of Greenburg’s statement, puts them in a hole.
Arum told BoxingScene.com that Schaefer “out and out lied to the press saying no negotiations took place and poor Oscar (De La Hoya) on television said negotiations were taking place. He spoke truthfully.” However, De La Hoya retracted his statement and claimed he was misquoted forcing Arum to state “now he (Oscar) looks like an idiot”
Back in June, De La Hoya’s answer to a question on TV about the Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiations last June in which he said " Up until now, it's been a very difficult negotiation process for various reasons, but right now we're very close. We're very close in finalizing the contracts that were once very complicated. The two fighters now realize that this fight must be made. It has to be made because the boxing fans want to see it happen and right now it's the biggest fight that can be made in the world. It's going to be a big, big fight. I think right now we are very, very close in finalizing the contracts. I can't talk right now in detail about the negotiations, but I will say that we are very close."
In an earlier report by BoxingScene's Robert Morales, De La Hoya, in an attempt to wiggle out of the situation claimed - "I think I said it because I get the question asked so many times that, obviously, I was fed up and tired of it and I just said like, yeah, yeah, it's gonna get made."
De La Hoya further told BoxingScene - “it was a quick answer that I should have obviously thought about. But, obviously, negotiations weren't going on. Nothing was going on. Like I said, Mayweather has the key to making that fight happen."
Wishing to put the Mayweather issue aside and to move on, Arum told us “in any event we are going with Antonio Margarito. I haven’t concluded the deal with Manny (Pacquiao) because we have a lot of states now, everybody is coming out of the woodwork wanting to do the fight.”
He said the Margarito fight is “going to end up bigger than you could imagine. Way bigger than (Joshua) Clottey” at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium which drew almost 51,000 fight fans last November.
Arum said the sites interested in hosting a Pacquiao-Margarito fight are Texas, Monterrey and New Jersey while Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz claimed that Abu Dhabi was still in the picture.