Manny Pacquiao: Is promoter Bob Arum looking to stab PacMan in the back?Written by Lee Cleveland
Following Manny Pacquiao's controversial loss to Jeff Horn last weekend, at least one member of PacMan's team believes his longtime promoter, Bob Arum, is looking to cash out the fight legend.
Aquiles Zonio, Pacquiao’s media relations chief, recently told ManilaTimes.com:
“You can see it in the body language of Arum that he’s probably searching for a new cash cow. He’s a user in my opinion. He’s treating Senator Manny (Pacquiao) differently now, unlike before.”
If Arum is treating Manny different, it's probably not personal. Since 2008, Pacquiao has been a major part of Top Rank's success and Arum's employees are probably grateful for the amazing run. However, boxing promotion is a 'What can you do for me?' endeavor.
In that arena, nothing is guaranteed so it's hard to blame Top Rank for looking for its new cash cow. Arum has an entire staff to pay and life can't stop because its star is at the tail end of his career.
If Top Rank fails to generate a certain amount of revenue, it risks laying off employees and ultimately going under.
Boxing promotion is a very tough business.
Pasing the Torch
Prior to the Horn fight, Team Pacquiao surely understood Top Rank, by mentioning Mikey Garcia and Terence Crawford as likely future opponents, was likely angling to create a 'pass the torch' scenario whereby a surging young lion gains public momentum by defeating a great old king. Let's not forget, Pacquiao didn't become a massive superstar until he defeated fight legend Oscar De La Hoya.
However, Manny's loss to Horn probably put a dent in Top Rank's plans because Pacquiao vs Crawford or Garcia would have probably been more lucrative than the Horn fight. Moreover, Crawford and Garcia are more accomplished and presumably more marketable than Horn and would have likely been better torch-bearers.
... Now that would be wrong
“He’ll bargain with that (rematch) and use it as his leverage to resign Manny for long term," Zonio added.
"If you ask me, I will not [give in] because I believe Pacquiao could get offers from other promotions. If you’re going to ask me, he’s good for two more fights."
Is Zonio suggesting Arum will dangle the Horn rematch in front of Pacquiao to use it as leverage to force Manny to agree to face Crawford or Garcia afterward?
... Given Manny's situation, that would be unethical.
But let's wait and see what Top Rank proposes. Manny wants the rematch and Top Rank will oblige him; hopefully without any strings attached.
"The rematch should not happen in Brisbane, Australia. Aside from that, our boss (Pacquiao) should be given a chance to select the judges and the referee. I can’t blame him if he wants to get a rematch with Horn.”
“It could happen in Las Vegas or in any neutral ground."
Again, let's give Top Rank the benefit of the doubt and see what happens.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.