By Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, sat down with BoxingScene.com to further explain his anger with the MGM Grand.
As previously reported, Arum lashed out at the MGM during the final press conference for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley HBO Pay-Per-View rematch, which takes place at the venue on Saturday night.
Arum has been furious over the venue's heavy display of promotional items related to the upcoming Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Marcos Maidana Showtime Pay-Per-View on May 3rd.
During the end of the press conference, with a stunned Richard Sturm [President of MGM Grand Entertainment] sitting right beside the podium, Arum unleashed his fury.
"I'm not going to say it....the hell with it - I know the Venetian would never make a mistake like this, they knew what fight was scheduled in three or four days and they wouldn't have a 12-1 fight all over the building that's going to take place in three weeks from next Saturday. That's why one company makes a billion dollars a quarter and the other hustles to pay it's debt [referring to the MGM]. There it is, say it like it is," Arum said to a stunned crowd.
Arum also notes that both of Saturday's main eventers, and their camps, felt disrespected.
"Michael Konzc pointed it our first. And did you see the look Manny gave me? Manny was pissed and so was Bradley. They gotta kiss our ass before we come back," Arum said to BoxingScene.com.
Regarding Mayweather's massive promotional items outside of the building, a third-party advertising company controls the space and MGM is contractually unable to remove them. Mayweather has reportedly purchased the space for the entire year.
Arum confirms that the MGM informed him of the circumstances related to the Mayweather items outside of the venue, but his main concern were the Mayweather-Maidana items being significantly featured inside of the venue.
According to Arum, company President Todd duBoef complained to Sturm regarding the issue - and Sturm explained to duBoef that Mayweather-Maidana was struggling to sell tickets, and as a result the MGM did not remove those promotional items during Pacquiao-Bradley fight week.
There are contractual clauses which prevent a venue from promoting an unrelated event from a direct competitor, but Arum says those clauses were never included, in the agreement with the MGM, because this has never happened to him in the past.
"We didn't put in there because nobody would ever do it," Arum said.
"Never has anything like this [happened to me]...ever, ever. We've had guys say 'Bob, we would appreciate it if the fight, if we could put it on the board that night.' And we say 'okay, yes' or 'okay, no.' But at least they would ask, but generally we wouldn't care because [by] then everything was done. Luckily we've virtually sold out here, but it's just the whole f***ing idea."
Another issue, says Arum, is the sponsorship conflict. Tecate has paid Top Rank a lot of money to be the official beer of Pacquiao-Bradley. But Mayweather-Maidana is sponsored by rival beer company Corona, which was featured in countless promotional items inside the venue.
"What about a rival beer company? Tecate has paid a lot of money to be the sponsor and they got Corona all over the f***ing building. Give me a break," Arum said.
"I wanted to go over to the Venetian and get Venetian jackets and wear them at the press conference."