By Robert Morales
Trainer Freddie Roach told this reporter last week that Manny Pacquiao would be coming to Los Angeles this week to talk about his next opponent. As it turns out, Pacquiao won't be coming to L.A., said his promoter, Bob Arum.
Rather, Arum is going to the Philippines next week and will meet with Pacquiao on, or just after, Jan. 10 to discuss which of four fighters will next square off with him. They are Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, Miguel Cotto and Lamont Peterson.
"I will be meeting with Manny that week and everything will get sorted out," Arum said.
Arum said he is currently determining how all four fighters might fare as far as generating bucks for live gate and pay-per-view.
"We are researching all of that, all four guys," Arum said. "We have asked HBO for their opinion, and I will present it all to Manny and then we will have a decision."
Interestingly, not only would Arum not say which fighter he prefers during a telephone conversation with BoxingScene.com, he said he is going to withhold that information from Pacquiao as well.
"I'm going to try and do this without even letting Manny know who I prefer," Arum said. "I want it to be his decision. He's mature enough and knowledgeable enough about boxing to make the choice himself. I'm just going to lay out the facts."
Arum Hopeful Mayweather Can Hang
Going to jail is no fun. Yours truly spent his share of time in L.A. County Jail back in the day, so that is coming from experience. Arum, who promoted much of Floyd Mayweather's career before Mayweather bolted, isn't sure how Mayweather will respond to confinement. Last month Mayweather was sentenced to 90 days in the Clark County Detention Center, after pleading guilty to a charge of domestic abuse.
"Although I'm not an expert, going to prison is not a pleasant thing, and some people handle it better than others," Arum said. "And I just hope Floyd is able to handle it, get it behind him. Whether he will or not, I have absolutely no idea."
Golden Boy CEO Mum on Mayweather
Richard Schaefer was reached via telephone Wednesday and asked his thoughts about Mayweather going to jail. He balked.
"I'm not going to comment on that," said Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which has promoted Mayweather's recent fights.
"I really don't want to talk about Floyd and what's going to happen. Let's see in the next few weeks what is going to happen.
"I don't have the time to speculate, or the interest to speculate."
Schaefer was asked if he is still hopeful a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight can be made.
"We tried to make this fight a few times and it hasn't happened because Arum hasn't negotiated with us," Schaefer said.
"He can say what he wants; I really don't give a sh*t anymore. I'm busy with fights that can be made."
Arum: Pacquiao Not Eroding
Pacquiao has not looked all that terrific in his past two bouts, against "Sugar" Shane Mosley and Marquez. Although he took a virtual shutout decision from Mosley last May, Pacquiao just did not have that fire we are used to seeing. Then against Marquez in November, Pacquiao at times appeared frustrated and was fortunate to come away with a majority decision.
Arum was asked if, with all of his political distractions as well as those alleged distractions from his personal life - meaning marital problems - Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) is beginning to slip a bit at the age of 33.
"No, I don't think he's slipping at all," Arum said. "I think the problem was that he has to maintain his focus on the boxing and not let any of the outside stuff affect him."
Schaefer Still Hopeful of Khan-Peterson Rematch
The subject of the Dec. 10 fight between Amir Khan and Peterson in Peterson's native Washington D.C. was broached with Schaefer. He said Golden Boy has filed official appeals with the commission governing the fight as well as both the IBF and WBA.
Khan lost both of his super lightweight titles that night via split decision. At the root of Golden Boy's beef were the two points Khan lost for pushing, as well as the way the scorecards were handled afterward; it took way too long to read them.
"The IBF is going to hear our argument on Jan. 18, I believe," Schaefer said. "We are waiting to hear back from the WBA ... and then we hope that the right decision will be made. Either we are going to see the ordering of an immediate rematch, or we are going to see the decision overturned and Amir will still be champion."
Schaefer added that, "People are being very evasive in their responses," regarding the delay in reading the scorecards.
When asked which people he was referring to, Schaefer would not say.
"I'm not going to go and point fingers," he said. "We are going through with the appeal and see what happens. We are prepared to take this further, if necessary. I'm going to leave it at that. I'm not going to show my entire hand."
Rubio Good For Promotion
Arum played host to a San Antonio news conference Tuesday for his Top Rank Inc. card there Feb. 4 at the Alamodome. Headlining will be middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (44-0-1, 31 KOs) of Mexico going against countryman Marco Antonio Rubio (53-5-1, 46 KOs).
Rubio has been telling anyone who will listen that he is going to knock Chavez cold. Arum has been taking it all in, smiling all the way.
"I don't know if it affects Julio, but it certainly is welcome to a promoter," Arum said of Rubio's trash-talk. "When the challenger is saying how he is going to knock out the champion, I love that."
Arum said that even before Tuesday's news conference there had already been gate sales of $150,000.
"We are very pleased," he said. "We expect 15,000 to 20,000 people and a lot of excitement. It's a great card."
The HBO-televised card will also include Nonito Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs) moving up in weight and taking on Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (21-1-1, 18 KOs) for a vacant super bantamweight title.
Bute Should Be Next For Ward
By now it's common knowledge that Andre Ward and his camp - including promoter Dan Goossen - believe that fellow super middleweight champion Lucian Bute has not fought the level of competition Ward has.
While that is true, the feeling among many is that Bute has done enough to warrant a title-unification bout with Ward, who recently unified the championship and won the Showtime Super Six classic with a victory over Carl Froch.
Bute's list of opponents may not be as strong as Ward's, but Bute has dispatched most of them in dominating fashion. He is 30-0 with 24 knockouts, his biggest wins coming over Librado Andrade (twice), Edison Miranda and Glen Johnson.
Yet, Goossen made it perfectly clear Tuesday that Ward's next fight will be against someone other than Bute, who has knocked out six of his past seven foes.
"There is something to be said about earning your right," Goossen said. "We see it in every other sport. You don't hop right to the Super Bowl despite the fact you may have the best regular-season record. You still have to go through the gauntlet of other division champions or the wild-card teams, depending on the sport.
"There is no other sport that just because you have the best record or a shining record that you automatically get that berth."
Goossen said Ward earned everything he has attained the hard way, with victories over the likes of Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green, Arthur Abraham and Froch; Ward also has a win over Miranda.
"Andre went through a grueling 2 1/2-year process in agreeing to fight one world-class fighter after another," Goossen said. "Despite the fact he was masterful in his performances, it was still a grueling period of preparing and getting ready and then completing the duties by winning as dominantly as he did.
"He did his Super Bowl. He went through the gauntlet of world champions. All we say is earn your right. Andre has shown he fights everyone."
Goossen said Ward will get the cast off his broken left hand next week. Once he is given a clean bill of health, the respective parties will get together and work on Ward's next fight.
Goossen said he is hopeful Ward will be back in the ring in April or May.
"We are going to all get together and go over the direction we are looking to go in," said Goossen, who could not say who Ward's next opponent might be.
For Ramos, Lesson Learned
Rico Ramos has been a pro for less than four years - three years and just a little more than nine months, to be exact.
Along the way he has no doubt learned a few things. He perhaps learned his most important lesson last July while challenging Akifumi Shimoda of Japan for his super bantamweight world title in Atlantic City.
Behind by four, four and six points entering the seventh round, Ramos knocked out Shimoda to win the title. But it didn't have to be so difficult, said Goossen, who has been Ramos' only promoter.
"Rico's strength isn't boxing, his strength is power," Goossen said of Ramos, of Pico Rivera, Calif. "He is a very powerful puncher. He has demonstrated it in a few of his fights. And what happens with any younger fighter, they get to a point where they have to understand what their strengths and weaknesses are."
Goossen said that by Ramos boxing too much the first six rounds, he was ignoring his biggest strength.
"When he turned it around in the seventh round, the only difference from the prior rounds was that he went out there and fought offensively, rather than a defensive fight," Goossen said.
It's not that Ramos can't box.
"But it doesn't allow him to fire off punches the way he needs to," Goossen said.
Goossen suggested the 24-year-old Ramos (20-0, 11 KOs) will have to utilize his left hook - perhaps his most lethal weapon - to its fullest when he defends his title against Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux (8-0, 6 KOs) when they square off on Jan. 20 at Palms Casino in Las Vegas (on Showtime).
Robert Morales covers boxing for the Press Telegram, LA Daily News and BoxingScene.com.