By Michael Marley
Like a combination puncher waiting until he was sure his veteran opponent was vulernable, combative promoter Lou DiBella's vituperative response to rival Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank, went far beyond defending his handling of middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.
In fact, while immediately responding to my Thursday night column, when the younger Harvard Law School graduate blasted the older one for ripping the Argentinean fighter's marketing, DiBella went for the jugular.
Volcanic Lou hammered the Top Rank Head Honcho and Manny Pacquiao promoter for what DiBella labeled as pathetic marketing of Floyd Mayweather Jr. when "Money" fought under Arum's banner.
"Arum's never done well with an African American fighter including Floyd Mayweather," DiBella said. "Artum failed in promoting Mayweather."
"Floyd Mayweather did not become a superstar until he left Bob Arum. That's a fact. Today, Mayweather is a superstar but he never was during all those years he was with Top Rank, with Arum."
The implication from DiBella was clear, that Top Rank rarely promoted black Amercian fighters or does not do so properly.
Of course, it must be said that Arum did successfully handle middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler, heavyweight champion Big John Tate, Muhammad Ali, Donaly Curry and many other African American boxers over the decades. It might also be noted that Arum's company just inked black American Tim Bradley and Bradley now looms as a probable Pacman foe for 2012.
Looming in the background in the Arum-DiBella feud is another fact, that DiBella is closely linked to adviser Al Haymon, chief adviser to Mayweather, Andre Berto and many other top fighters.
Just last week, DiBella opined that Mayweather would play with Pacquiao in teh ring.
It may be Lou's unvarnished opinion but some saw those quotes as DiBella feathering his own nest with the publicity shy but influential Haymon.
For Arum's part, while saying he likes the voluble DiBella, the 79 year old Hall Of Fame promoter said Martinez has not been sold to the American public the way he should be.
Martinez defends his title against little known but unbeaten Londoner Darren Barker Saturday night in Atlantic City (HBO).
Martinez is generally regarded as the No. 3 pound for pound fighter, behind only Pacquiao and Mayweather.
One ironic thing about the blowup between Lou Lou and Uncle Bob is that, two weeks ago in New York at an Antonio Margarito-Miguel Cotto TR presser, I heard DiBella say, in Arum's presence:
"This man is like fine wine, getting better with age. You're going to make a ton of money on pay-per-view TV with this fight."
That was then, now is now.
Mark it down as a typically conflicted boxing relationship.Tags: Floyd Mayweather Jr. , Bob Arum , Lou DiBella