By Michael Marley
His recent war of wards with rival promoter Bob Arum is pretty much exhausted.
They volleyed back and forth like Serena and Venus preparing to smash their next opponents.
But, in the nervous hours before his franchise fighter Sergio Gabriel Martinez took to an Atlantic City ring to defend his world middleweight title against undefeated but lightly regarded Brit Darren Barker, Volcanic Lou DiBella was in a reflective mood, preferring not to direct or return any flaming arrows in Arum's direction.
Not that Cousin Lou expects Arum, even if Martinez shines brightly on HBO, to praise the 36 year old Argentinean to the high heavens.
"I don't why Arum started all that but he likes to denigrate people, as I said before," DiBella told me Saturday afternoon. "If the fight is close, Bob will pan Sergio. If Sergio knocks Barker out, Bob will pan him. That's why Bob does, pans other people's fighters."
Despite the verbal acrimony (DiBella asked me to "stop pouring gasoline on the fire"), the Brooklyn native and Harvard Law School grad (a distinction he and 79 year old Arum share) did open the door to co-promoting Martinez with Top Rank.
Showing his pragmatic side, DiBella said that, if handing a share of his top client to Arum is what it takes to get established stars like Miguel Cotto and/or Tony Margarito in the ring with stylish Martinez, then so be it.
But DiBella made this clear, he's not looking get bought out.
"Of course, I'd co-promote if it was in Sergio's best interest," DiBella said. "But Bob doesn't like to do that, he wants to buy you out and I won't have that."
DiBella was sanguine about the chances of Floyd Mayweather Jr. wanting to fight Martinez anymore than Cotto or Margarito, who has an ancient victory over Sergio, seem to.
"Sergio is on record, saying he can get to 150 pounds for Mayweather but there's a pretty heavy risk involved for Floyd. It's not like we're asking for the lion's share of the money with any of these guys."
DiBella said he thinks Arum will demand the bigger share for a Margarito-Martinez II bout even if the Mexican loses in his Dec. 3 Madison Square Garden rematch against Boriciua Banger Cotto.
"If that's so, if they want more than a 50-50 deal, then there won't be a Sergio fight against Margarito. It will never happen."
Tags: Sergio Martinez , Bob Arum , Top Rank , Lou DiBella