By Robert Morales
Bob Arum has been promoting boxing for over 40 years. In all that time, he said he can't think of one fighter who would have taken advantage of the situation the way Floyd Mayweather Jr. did during his fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17.
"I really don't know any," Arum said Tuesday.
Had he seen anyone do anything even similar to Mayweather's surprise KO of Ortiz?
"Nope," Arum said.
When Ortiz's promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, played host to a conference call Monday with Ortiz and his manager, Rolando Arellano, De La Hoya was asked if during his many years as a fighter he knew anyone who would have clocked an opponent immediately following a sportsmanlike embrace.
"Zero, none of them," De La Hoya said. "Not even Ricardo Mayorga would have done that."
What about Fernando Vargas, who was busted for steroids after being knocked out by De La Hoya in the 11th round in September 2002?
"Not even a Fernando Vargas," De La Hoya said. "And that tells you a lot. This fight was barely warming up. We were cheated, everyone was cheated - especially Victor Ortiz - from a great fight happening."
Interestingly, Mayorga was at the post-fight news conference. He was interviewed about what happened by good friend Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. According to Pugmire, Mayorga told him he would have done exactly what Mayweather did.
Anyway, Arum was asked if Mayweather's actions make him think twice about putting his Manny Pacquiao in with Mayweather?
"I'm thinking twice, three times, four times," he said.
Arum was apparently only half-serious.
"I'm thinking about Pacquiao-Mayweather, but I'm concentrating on Pacquiao-(Juan Manuel) Marquez," he said of that Nov. 12 fight.
"After the Marquez fight, if Pacquiao is successful, we'll sit down with Manny and Freddie (Roach) and everyone and we'll figure out who we are going to fight next.
"Maybe Mayweather needs to stop talking about Pacquiao when he was fighting Ortiz. We don't have that same compulsion."
Goossen's Two Cents
Promoter Dan Goossen is not one of those bashing Mayweather for the way he did things against Ortiz. And in explaining his reasoning, he makes very good sense.
"Especially after watching the replay, there were a few things that really came out that I believe people have missed the point on all this," Goossen said. "First of all, how many times can you hug and kiss? I'm tired of seeing that, the hand-slapping and all that (see Pacquiao-Shane Mosley). We have two warriors out there. I don't mind congratulating someone after a good, hard fight, but not during the fight.
"I think that presents problems in a lot of various situations; obviously, this is one of them."
Goossen said that while it's true referee Joe Cortez was not looking at the fighters when Mayweather first landed the medium-hard left hook, that is immaterial.
"After that third hug when Joe Cortez said let's go and Ortiz went over to Floyd and he gave him a little hug and backed up, he was looking at Floyd when Floyd popped off with the left," Goossen said.
But Ortiz still kept his hands down.
"At that point Ortiz was kind of stunned that Floyd would hit him and it was at that point he looked at Cortez and Floyd did the natural thing of hitting him again with the right," Goossen said.
"I'm a firm believer of not only protecting yourself at all times, but when the referee says let's go, in spite of the fact he wasn't looking at anyone inside the ring, let's go means let's go and Ortiz had the duty to fight. When he's saying let's go, you're not thinking he's saying let's hug again.
"What he's saying is let's get back to fighting and that's what Floyd did. You can't sit there and say you gotta show good sportsmanship. Cortez had them in the center of the ring, brought his hands together. ... Floyd was being a good sportsman by allowing Ortiz to hug him again."
Ortiz Still Doesn't Get It
During Monday's conference call, a reporter from BoxingScene.com asked Ortiz why he didn't immediately put up his hands after the left hook.
"I didn't think I needed to because Cortez was there," he said.
Of course, with all of this, let's not forget that the only fighter who actually was guilty of a foul in that fight was Ortiz, who launched an egregious missile-like head-butt that, according to Mayweather, caused him to take some stitches in his mouth.
Juanma Apparently in Right Place Now
When Juan Manuel Lopez stunningly lost his featherweight championship to Orlando Salido via eighth-round TKO this past April, stories abound about how overweight Lopez had gotten before getting down to the 126-pound limit. Some were saying 180 pounds.
It was therefore somewhat surprising to hear that Lopez is staying at that weight, where he will take on light-hitting Mike Oliver (25-2, 8 KOs) on Saturday at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico - the same venue in which Lopez was walloped by Salido.
But Arum, Lopez's promoter, said that's the way Lopez wants it.
"He wants to fight this guy and then win his title back (from Salido) and then move up to 130," Arum said.
Lopez went through a divorce last year, which didn't help his head as he was preparing for training camp for Salido.
"Yeah, he was every place I was," Arum said. "I was at Manny's birthday party in the Philippines (last December), he was there. He was all over world, having a life. He was really enjoying himself. For a world-class athlete, you can't do that."
Arum said he doesn't have time to spy on Lopez, but he said the reports are that Lopez's head is now where it should be.
"That is what I'm told," Arum said.
Cotto-Margarito II Could Be Blockbuster
When Antonio Margarito was caught with illegal hand wraps prior to his fight with Mosley in January 2009, fighters who had previously been beaten by Margarito came out of the woodwork with their own suspicions. Could Margarito have had doctored wraps in their fights as well?
Miguel Cotto, who six months earlier was stopped in the 11th round by Margarito, was one of those who wondered aloud about that very thing. Now that he is scheduled for a Dec. 3 rematch with Margarito in New York City, Cotto still wonders.
"Only he knows for sure," Cotto said of Margarito, "but the doubts in my mind are there."
Well, even though a member of the Cotto camp was not there to view the wrapping, Arum was told by the Nevada State Athletic Commission that the inspector working that fight was 100 percent sure Margarito's wraps were clean. This reporter actually spoke with said inspector and was told the same thing.
Clean or dirty, this has added a lot of fuel to this return engagement, and it should add numbers to the pay-per-view feed.
"Of course, of course," Arum said. "That is how our society is."
Cotto is guaranteed $5 million plus pay-per-view upside. Margarito will get $2.75 million plus upside. Pre-sales to season-ticket holders at MSG as of a few days ago were already at $600,000, more than twice the previous pre-sale high for a fight there.
Sixty-five percent of the seats had already been sold.
Controversy sells. Always has, always will.
Martirosyan is Due
When a fighter is 30-0 with 19 knockouts and has been boxing professionally for nearly 6 1/2 years, one would think he would have had a major title shot by now. But junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan of Glendale, Calif., has only fought for regional titles.
Arum, Martirosyan's promoter, was asked Tuesday when we might see this fighter get a major title opportunity. Arum's response was interesting, and humorous.
"There are no more major titles," Arum said. "All titles are delusionary. When you have 17 interim champions in each class, there is no major title. If you ask me will we get him a major fight, that's a different story."
OK, we're asking.
"Maybe he fights the winner of Cotto-Margarito," Arum said of Martirosyan, who Oct. 29 will take on Richard Gutierrez (26-7-1, 16 KOs) of Miami at WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Okla. (on Fox Sports Network).
No Worry About Ward
Goossen said he is satisfied that Andre Ward will be 100 percent healed by the time his super middleweight title fight with Carl Froch comes along Dec. 17 in Atlantic City. The Showtime super six final was originally scheduled for Oct. 29, but Ward sustained a cut over his right eye last week during sparring.
"Yeah, from the get-go the doctor said it was a very clean cut, so it's somewhat routine as it relates to having it stitched up," said Goossen, Ward's promoter. "It was a straight cut, no nerve damage, wasn't jagged. The healing process is a lot smoother."
Goossen said Ward would not spar for five weeks and then would still have at least six weeks to prepare for Froch.