Advertisement
Advertisement

Pac-Money: Thanks anyway, Bob, I’ll wait for the movie

By Lyle Fitzsimmons

Man, that Bob Arum is something.

He zigzags across the globe schlepping a fight few seems to care about, yet he maintains enough savvy amid the jet lag to know precisely what to say to get other people talking.

That recipe is simple.

Mention Manny Pacquiao’s name in the same breath as Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s.

Sprinkle in words like “optimistic” when suggesting they might one day share a ring together.

And add a pinch of practical purpose by claiming the appropriate television networks have met.

Then just stand back and let the media dig in until the belt buckle gives way.

Such was the case again last week, when Arum, Pacquiao and Freddie Roach traipsed through San Francisco on the tour promoting the Filipino’s November date with Chris Algieri – the newly minted 140-pound champ with eight career KOs and zero wins over anyone in anyone’s top 15 at welterweight.

The fight was concocted when four-time foe Juan Manuel Marquez didn’t leap at the dangled prospect of a fifth go-round with Pacquiao, and after Algieri scuttled the prospect of an in-stable tilt between Pacquiao and Ruslan Provodnikov with an iffy upset of the sturdy Russian in June.

Pacquiao is the overwhelming choice of oddsmakers at VegasInsider.com to defeat Algieri – it’ll take a $1,300 outlay on the WBO’s 147-pound champ to make $100 – and what novelty does exist revolves around the fight site in Macau, China, where Pacquiao will appear for a second time in three outings.

Given all that, and showing his 41 years at Top Rank haven’t been wasted, Arum changed the narrative.

A Google search for news items including “Pacquiao” and “Mayweather” in the aftermath of ol’ Bob’s comments yielded links from Sports Illustrated to the Washington Post, and provided any evidence needed to back the notion that “PacMan” vs. “Money” – even with its principals at ages 35 and 37, respectively – is still the dreamiest of dreams for a superfight-starved boxing marketplace.

Wanting it, however, is still a quantum leap from getting it.

Lest anyone forget, this isn’t nearly the first time these two have seemingly inched a mite closer to one another in an awkward he-said/he-said tango that began more than half a decade ago.

Drug tests, purse splits and general animosity have been portrayed as road blocks to progress at one time or another, though it still never fails to move the needle when one side even implies a reference to the other in conversation.

Mayweather set the Twitter-verse ablaze with Manny vs. Floyd chatter several weeks ago upon suggesting he had a “big surprise” in store for fans next spring, even though he never once uttered Pacquiao’s name. Several months earlier, in fact, while touring to promote a fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, when he did bother to mention his would-be rival, he sneeringly labeled Pacquiao “a has-been.”

His enmity for Arum since their relationship ended in 2006 is among the sport’s worst-kept secrets, too.

And while Pacquiao rarely fails to answer in the affirmative when asked if he’d like a Mayweather fight, he’s never been the type to seize an interview microphone and demand it outright – defaulting instead to a far less inflammatory “I fight whoever my promoter picks for me” stance.

Unless those realities change, the latest leans more toward hot air than hot news.

Neither HBO nor Showtime showed its hand upon a follow-up request, with the former, represented by media relations executive Raymond Stallone, citing a “firm policy” through which it does “not speculate/comment on fights that are not made.” The latter, in the specific form of sports communications vice president Chris DeBlasio, delivered a more traditional “no comment.”

Though the tepid cable sidesteps are by no means a flat-out rejection of Arum’s insistence that appropriate parties have been in contact, it’s at least somewhat telling that his sudden statement was accompanied by nothing else tangible that indicates any substantial progress has been made.

No reliable rumor. No indication of new interest. No worthwhile handwriting on any pristine walls.

Nothing beyond a promoter with a clearly detectable agenda, deciding that this was as good as any to toss a crumb to the peasants and stoke the impression that a satiating meal might follow.

Maybe so, but until the plate’s on the table and the fork’s in the steak, you’d best hold off on seconds.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

This week’s title fight schedule:

FRIDAY
WBC flyweight title – Tokyo, Japan
Akira Yaegashi (champion/No. 2 IWBR) vs. Roman Gonzalez (No. 1 contender/No. 1 IWBR)

Yaegashi (20-3, 10 KO): Fourth title defense; Held WBA title at 105 (2011-12, zero defenses)
Gonzalez (39-0, 33 KO): Tenth title fight (9-0, 5 KO); Four KOs in four Tokyo fights (eight total rounds)
Fitzbitz says: Someday the slugging Nicaraguan will lose a fight. Maybe it’ll be here. But I won’t pick against him until someone has already shown me it can be done. Gonzalez by decision

WBC light flyweight title – Tokyo, Japan
Naoya Inoue (champion/No. 5 IWBR) vs. Samartlek Kokietgym (No. 13 contender/No. 28 IWBR)

Inoue (6-0, 5 KO): First title defense; Five KOs in five Tokyo fights (26 total rounds)
Kokietgym (17-4, 5 KO): First title fight; Fifth fight outside Thailand (1-3, 0 KO)
Fitzbitz says: It’s no slam dunk that a 21-year-old with six fights can handle a 29-year-old who’s a fourth-year pro, but I’ve got no qualms taking my chances with a potential stud in the making. Inoue in 8

SATURDAY
IBF junior featherweight title – Belfast, Northern Ireland
Kiko Martinez (champion/No. 4 IWBR) vs. Carl Frampton (No. 2 contender/No. 3 IWBR)
Martinez (31-4, 23 KO): Third title defense; Third fight in Northern Ireland (1-1, 0 KO)
Frampton (18-0, 13 KO): First title fight; Stopped Martinez in nine rounds in 2013
Fitzbitz says: You have a guy who won by stoppage the first time, fighting in his hometown, for his first world championship. Hard to imagine he won’t get it done a second time. Frampton by decision
 
WBA/WBO flyweight titles – Mexico City, Mexico
Juan Francisco Estrada (champion/No. 3 IWBR) vs. Giovani Segura (No. 1 WBA contender/No. 4 IWBR)

Estrada (26-2, 19 KO): Second title defenses; Unbeaten in Mexico since 2011 (6-0, 4 KO)
Segura (32-3-1, 28 KO): Seventh title fight (5-1, 5 KO); Thirteenth fight in Mexico (11-1, 11 KO)
Fitzbitz says: Had it not been for Brian Viloria, this fight may have had a different champion/challenger arrangement. By the time it ends, it’s quite possible that’s what we’ll see anyway. Segura by decision

Last week's picks: 1-0 (WIN: Huck)
2014 picks record: 60-16 (78.9 percent)
Overall picks record: 607-210 (74.2 percent)

NOTE: Fights previewed are only those involving a sanctioning body's full-fledged title-holder – no interim, diamond, silver, etc. Fights for WBA "world championships" are only included if no "super champion" exists in the weight class.

Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter – @fitzbitz.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by turnedup on 09-03-2014

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;14907481]I have rarely seen headline after headline on Boxing Scene with Floyd mentioning Pacquiao as often as I have seen the opposite happen these past few weeks. It's straight from the Bob Arum playbook. I don't know why you feel…

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 09-02-2014

[QUOTE=turnedup;14905464]i'm sure Arum is also the reason Floyd mentions Pacquaio too instead of the journalists, right.[/QUOTE] I have rarely seen headline after headline on Boxing Scene with Floyd mentioning Pacquiao as often as I have seen the opposite happen these…

Comment by Bronx2245 on 09-02-2014

Again, I repeat, "All eyes on Arum." The timing of all these comments, coincide with the timing of Arum's plea for a boycott of Mayweather vs. Maidana I (which looks ridiculous in hindsight: Algeri...really?). With Bob Arum, nothing is a…

Comment by PAC-BOY on 09-02-2014

[QUOTE=Kilrain;14906142]Whenever I see Lyle Fitzsimmons' name, I stop reading. The guy is just a huge complainer. Always got an axe to grind.[/QUOTE] I think he is Anthony Bourdain

Comment by KnockoutKings on 09-02-2014

[QUOTE=anonymous2.0;14905183]Would it be a game changer if suddenly Pac called out Floyd after the win?[/QUOTE] I would love to see Pac put his foot down and do that. But he'll go for the "if the fans want to see it,…

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (29)
Top Headlines Di Rocco Warns Ricky Burns That Layoff Made Him 'More Hungry' Groves Plans To Get Martin Murray a Beer After Beating Him Kenny Lemos Inks Promotional Pact With Under Dawgs Boxing Chavez Jr. Advises Canelo To Demand '158' For Golovkin Bout Shakeup: John Riel Casimero Gives Flyweight a Fresh Spark Chris Blaney Inks Promotional Pact With Ricky Hatton Deontay Wilder Wants WBC To Rule on Povetkin Sooner Than Later Gutierrez Vows That Rosado Won't Make it To Chavez Jr. Fight Damon Allen Batters, Stops Danny Montoya in Three Rounds Golovkin's Coach: Canelo Had No Intention To Do The Fight! Mike Tyson: You Can't Call Tyson Fury a Bum After Klitschko Win Photos: Francisco Vargas Throws Out First Pitch at Dodgers Game Showtime Sues Top Rank: Mayweather-Pacquiao Legal Fee Dispute Fernando Montiel Not Looking To Retire, Plans To Fight Again Tony Bellew Gets Celebrity Backing as He Enters Makabu Fight Mike Tyson Lands Role in Reboot of The Kickboxer Franchise Duran Confident Mosley Secures Shot at Thurman-Porter Winner Sugar Ray Leonard: I Told Mayweather I Would Have Beat Him Photos: Ruslan Provodnikov, John Molina Training For War Nate Diaz: I'd Whoop Mayweather, McGregor Asses in One Night! Margarito Says Ramon Alvarez Likely, Wants Canelo Next Roach: Pacquiao Can Return For Canelo, But Floyd is Bigger Draw Hassan N'Dam vs. Swierzbinski, Amar-Demchenko Will Go Ahead Agit Kabayel Helping Tyson Fury Prepare For Klitschko Rematch Casimero is Ready, Wants Roman Gonzalez Unification Next Fortune To McGregor: Forget Mayweather, Shut Up F***ing Yapper! Povetkin's Promoter Embraces WBC Ruling on Deontay Wilder Mike Tyson: Foolish Plan, But Olympic Amateurs Might Beat Pros Anthony Cacace, Barry McGuigan Decide To Part Ways Hearn Urges Haye To Face Whyte To Speed Up Road To Joshua Deontay Wilder Granted Permission To Make Voluntary By WBC Zolani Tete: Haskins and McDonnell are Holding My Titles Kathy Duva To Be Honored At 7th Annual Raging Babe Brunch Jurors Set For All-Star Boxing vs. Canelo/Golden Boy Lawsuit Jazza Dickens (Injury) Pulled From June 4 Liverpool Show Miguel Flores To Face Ruben Tamayo on PBC on FS1 Erislandy Lara Sees No Network Issues in Making Golovkin Fight Casimero Knocks Out Ruenroeng In Four, Wins Flyweight Crown Focal Point: Lebedev Rises To Top Of Red-Hot Cruiserweight Division Keith Thurman: We Don't Yet Know If Kell Brook is 'Really Special'
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement