By Michael Marley
It's not every day that you can enjoy blow by blow reporting from the lips of Bob Arum.
But, as I was speaking to the Jewish promoter who never ducks another Jewish promoter Monday, Arum interrupted himself to exclaim, "Ooh, ooh, (Julio Cesar) Chavez (Jr.) just landed a great shot!"
I interrupted Arum's ringside gym report to ask his reaction to Lou DiBella's offer for his late blooming Argentinean superstar, Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez, to fight Arum's pet, Manny Pacquiao, at a catchweight of 155 pounds, five pounds below the middleweight limit and eight above the welterweight limit.
"If Bob feels that way, let's make the fight at 155. I know the fight won't happen next. Manny will have his fight. Sergio's next fight is going to be on HBO. Let's build the fight and make it happen next year. I think Sergio is the best fighter in the world. I know Pacquiao won't duck any challenge. We'll make the fight at 155, and frankly Sergio would have to kill himself to get there," DiBella told BoxingScene.com.
In this case, Arum votes "no" on "yes," meaning no way, Don Jose.
"Yes, it is an absurd proposal at least right now," Arum said. "Manny is going to fight as high as 147 pounds, for right now, and that's that. I've got Freddie Roach's approval and agreement on that. I think Manny beats Martinez but it's a tough fight because of the size difference. Manny has other options at this point."
I asked Arum if he thought Martinez's highlight reel, one punch KO might cause some to overrate a fighter who was obviously underrated.
"No mistake," Arum said, "Martinez is good, very good in fact. Do not undestimate this guy. He may be an exceptional guy but when I mentioned Lucian Bute (super middleweight champ) then Lou says Bute is too big for Martinez. If Bute is too big for Martinez, then what does that make Martinez for Manny?"
Arum then turned his attention to the junior middleweights where he plans a New York area (Meadowlands?) June doublheaader tied to the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Arum will make the grudge rematch between Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto and plans to pit back from injured Yuri Foreman against the protected Chavez.
"I want to put those four guys in the mix," Arum said.
Prior to the holiday break, Arum and wife, Lovee, along with (the promoter's stepdaughter) Deena DuBoef, will travel with Coach Roach on Dec. 12 to visit Pacman in the Philippines. They can celebrate Arum' Dec. 8 79th birthday and Manny's Dec. 18 32nd birthday.
"We'll take Freddie with us and go the day after he has Amir Khan fighting (Marcos Maidana) in Las Vegas," Arum said.
"While we visit with Manny, we'll discuss his next opponent."