By Lem Satterfield
BoxingScene.com spoke to Top Rank Promotions CEO, Bob Arum, regarding a number of topics, including a forthcoming apology to eight division and WBO welterweight king Manny Pacquiao that is reportedly being crafted for release on Tuesday by the attornies of Golden Boy Promotions.
The impending capitulation would be in response to an ongoing lawsuit filed on Pacquiao's behalf in December of 2009 seekng compensatory and punitive damages for defamation of character and naming Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and president, respectively, of Golden Boy Promotions.
The suit also named Floyd Mayweather Jr., his uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, and Floyd Mayweather Sr.
Pacquiao's attorney is Daniel Petrocelli, with the Los Angeles-based O'Melveny and Myers law firm, who gained a wrongful death civil conviction against O.J. Simpson in 1997.
The move could be a precursor to Pacquiao dropping his defamation lawsuit against Golden Boy, although it is unclear how the Mayweathers would be affected, according to a May 29 report by Michael Marley of BoxingScene.com.
Arum also addressed the skyrocketing popularity of Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 knockouts), plans for a November bout between Pacquiao and WBO and WBA king Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KOs), as well as the futures of former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (37-2, 32 KOs) and middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (41-0-1, 30 KOs).
Prior to his May 7, unanimous 10-round super middleweight decision over Alphonso Lopez (21-1, 16 KOs), Pavlik had been dethroned as WBC middleweight king by Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KOs) in April of 2010.
Chavez has a June 4 clash with WBC middleweight titlist Sebasian Zbik (30-0, 10 KOs), which, in victory, could enter him in the sweepstakes for a match up against either junior middleweight belt-holder Miguel Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs) or ex-world champion Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs).
Arum also expressed some opinion concerning WBO and WBC junior welterweight titlist Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs)..
BoxingScene.com: What can you say about the upcoming apology by Golden Boy Promotions to Manny Pacquiao?
Bob Arum: Let's wait until actually happens. I don't want to jump the gun. We've been negotiating the arrangements, including the apology, so let it come in the normal way rather than me commenting on it.
BoxingScene.com: Can you address what your feelings are toward Golden Boy right now?
BA: I have said that after our recent mediation, we shook hands and we agreed that we would bury the hatchet and, where possible, work together to do some significant fights. Since we shook hands on that, I intend to follow through on it.
BoxingScene.com: Is there anything more that you can say concerning the relief that you feel and the potential for such big fights?
BA: Relief is the wrong word. There's just no relief. It's just going from one situation to another. We've done quite well at Top Rank not dealing with their fighters.
We've done well with just dealing with our own and those of other promoters. But stands to offer to us some increased opportunities for us. In that sense, then, it's very good.
BoxingScene.com: Do you know whether or not Juan Manuel Marquez is going to risk taking a July fight prior to facing Manny Pacquiao in November?
BA: Well, you know, that's up to him. He's doing it himself. We're going to help him a little bit with it. But he has to make all of the arrangements himself.
BoxingScene.com: What is your role with Juan Manuel Marquez's July fight?
BA: We'll help him with the television distribution and the foreign distribution and that sort of thing.
BoxingScene.com: Manny Pacquiao's popularity has continued to increase, fight-by-fight, despite media criticism?
BA: That's absolutely correct. That's what we had hoped would happen and that is what is happening. That's very good for us and it's very satisfying to us.
BoxingScene.com: Can you address the various scenarios surrounding Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.?
BA: Well, there are three guys that we have who are in the mix. That's Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto and Julio Cesar Chavez. We have to see what happens on June 4 and see where everybody figures in.
Who fights whom, when they fight, and so forth. I'll sit down with all of the fighters that weekend of June 4.
BoxingScene.com: What do you like about Kelly Pavlik's return and what's next for him?
BA: We just wanted to get him back into the ring, and what he did was the best that we could hope for under the circumstances after his layoff. We thought that he looked fine.
He had the stamina to go the full distance and so, we're please with his performance. We obviously are going to get him moving and hopefully put him in with one of the top super middleweights very shortly.
They're all possibilities. But the guy, [IBF champion] Lucian Bute may be the one who has the inside track.
BoxingScene.com: Can you shed any light on the situation with Nonito Donaire and Top Rank?
BA: Not really. Hopefully, that will get itself cleared up, but that's up to Nonito Donaire and his people. If he doesn't, then it will be resolved in the arbitration.
BoxingScene.com: What are your thoughts on [WBA and WBO] junior welterweight champion Tim Bradley?
BA: The first step is for him to be free to deal with us. But as we understand it, he still has a contract with Gary Shaw. So, we're not going to do anything at this point.
However, there is no secret that if that contract expires, and he's a free agent, we want Tim Bradley very badly for our program. I think that he's one of the top figters.
I think that we can build him into a major attraction and I just think that he has not been promoted as well as he might be.