By Carlos Arias
LAS VEGAS --- Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya spent last week offering an olive branch to Top Rank Promotions' Bob Arum, but apparently Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Floyd Mayweather didn't get the memo.
Schaefer and Mayweather never mentioned Arum by name, but they took veiled shots at him throughout Wednesday's news conference for Mayweather-Marcos Maidana on Saturday night at the MGM Grand on Showtime PPV.
The MGM Grand has become the home of most major fights in the sport of boxing. Earlier this month Arum went on a rant about the MGM Grand, which hosted the Top Rank-promoter Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight, because of "SignGate." Arum saw signage for the Mayweather-Maidana fight the week of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight and went ballistic at the final pre-fight news conference. Among the many slams on the MGM Grand, Arum called the MGM's president of sports and entertainment, Richard Sturm, "the president of hanging the posters for the wrong fight."
Arum made vague references to people "paying people off" to get fights. Schaefer, who even took a shot at the Top Rank ring girls outfits at one point, gave a lengthy introduction for Sturm at Wednesday's news conference.
"That was uncalled for," Schaefer said. "In the public forum, you don't deal with matters like that. The MGM Grand as much as it is the brand, it is the people who make the MGM Grand greatest property here in Las Vegas and in my books around the world. There are many people here, thousands, tens of thousands of people which are employed by the MGM Resorts. I think it's over 60,000 people. This was not just an attack against my friend (Sturm) here to the left. It was an attack against all of those people. People like Scott Bergner, who has been here 18 years. People you guys don't know. And Ed Kitt back there ... 25 years. Ed McPeak over 20 years at the MGM. Gene Keller ... 21 years. Tim Test ... 14 years and so many more.
"We cannot (condone) that kind of behavior because what this hotel has done for the sport of boxing is out of this world. They have put together the biggest and best promotions. The sport of boxing is today where it is because of these people. These people who are passionate about the sport of boxing. It is a pleasure and honor for me to introduce to you somebody who has been for 40 years with that company. It is these people who make the MGM the greatest and grandest hotel in the world. Please welcome my friend, the president of sports and entertainment of the MGM Resorts Group, Richard Sturm."
Mayweather defended the MGM Grand and threw in a jab at the 82-year-old Arum.
"Richard Sturm, you are remarkable," Mayweather said. "You're a great guy. You're a stand-up gentleman. Everything I asked for from the MGM Grand you all gave me and even more. I have a lifetime bond and lifetime relationship with you guys. I respect this hotel. Of course, you hear people say a lot of negative things because they're mad because their run is coming to an end. And we are the new era of boxing."
Contact Carlos Arias on Twitter @PunchyMcGee.
Tags: Floyd Mayweather Jr. , Bob Arum , Richard Schaefer