RingSide Report

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The Protection of Manny Pacquiao & Miguel Cotto: The Bob Arum Agenda

By Idris “Drees” Newton

New year, same old Bob Arum, with Miguel Cotto slated to return to the ring early March, Top Rank is staying true to form and has been shopping possible foes such as Ricardo Mayorga, Vanes Martirosyan and Pawel Wolak; apropos, I’m sure none of you can tell me who they are without first looking them up (no way you can prove me wrong, so just let it go). HBO, whom want no parts of such a “who cares” kind of fight, told Top Rank to keep shopping (I’m paraphrasing of course). I’m sure HBO shares my sentiment when I ask, “Could he possibly think anybody would be interested in seeing any of these guys in the ring with Cotto”, besides of course his largely Puerto Rican following.

This is no surprise to me, Arum is a perpetual “Under matcher”, always making sure to set bouts where his fighters ultimately have the advantage in boxing attributes. Unless, he promotes both fighters and is in a win/win kind of scenario, Arum has a keen eye for making the optimal match for his pocket rather than the best fight for boxing fans i.e. Pacman/Clottey, Pacman/De La Hoya (washed up), Pacman/Hatton (Washed up), Pacman/Margarito and last and maybe the very least (Drum roll please) SHANE MOSLEY!?!? WHAT!?!? If that doesn’t make you want to puke then you should’ve auditioned for “Fear Factor”. Boxing takes a big credibility hit every time Top Rank holds a press conference.

I contend that it is Arum and not “Pacman” (afraid of needles) or “Money” that torpedoed that mega fight. Arum has very negative feelings toward Floyd stemming from a very tumultuous history filled with resentment and feelings of betrayal on the part of Arum and Top Rank caused by Mayweather’s decision to leave the promoter in 2006. While Arum, again trying to make himself more money by pitting Floyd with his then unknown fighter (Antonio Margarito), who would have been an easy victory for “Money” (and a lesser draw, as far as PPV buys, I believe), for a measly eight million, instead of getting the big money fight Floyd wanted against a De La Hoya, or a primed Mosley or a still Dangerous Kostya Tszyu.

Floyd knew then what we are all beginning to realize now, that Bob Arum and Top Rank are not in the business of making good fights they are in the business of acting. Acting as if, Clottey/Pacquiao was a big fight to pack the Cowboys monstrosity of a stadium. Don’t be fooled folks; it was Arums desire to make a deal with Jerry Jones that created that horrible fight with Clottey and the fact that Richard Schaffer of Golden Boy Promotions (Arum’s Arch enemies, and Floyd’s Co-Promoters) had no interest in “Jerry’s World” as a venue. In other words, no Dallas=no fight, not for Golden Boy, not for Floyd, and certainly not for you and I (The Fans). Simple as that, Bob Arum cared more about sticking it to Floyd and Golden Boy as well as getting the first big fight in the “The Terror Dome” (Cowboys Stadium)

Is this what it has come to boxing fans, Cotto/Mayorga?

Really, no other matches to be made, this is what we have to look forward to? No Margorito/Cotto rematch, who are pretty much even now that we all can assume that Tony was by all accounts a cheater back when they met the first time around. They’ve both gotten shellacked by “Pacman” so the only difference would be the level playing field the fight would be contested on. Why not Cotto/Berto, who wouldn’t want to watch all action spectacle? Berto is about due for a real challenge and Berto is just the right kind of fight. That would jolt him into the names of possible Floyd/Manny matchups instantly. We could use a new face, and exciting young and hungry fighter like Berto to make waves in the division. A welterweight Division that has become boring because of Top Rank’s selfish fight hoarding, and obvious disregard for bettering the sport.

Soon it will be official, the end of the welterweight division that is taking a back seat to the junior welterweight division. A junior welterweight division that is pairing its best fighters in great fights, real competition between the best that the weight class has to offer. All the while Top Rank is content with being a cancer to boxing, producing such an ill advised fight. Cotto/Mayorga, why not give us Cotto/Martinez who has expressed interest in a Cotto match up?


Because Cotto will lose that’s why and Arum’s last name isn’t Dibella as in Lou Dibella who promotes the Middleweight champ. Can we get this fight on a video game, I don’t think they (Top Rank) would let even that happen. “Sorry kid we’re suing you for playing your video game, we haven’t sold you the rights to kick the crap out of our fighter’s likeness”

Martinez/Cotto, would be a huge money maker, and for once a good reason to have a huge fight in a huge stadium. It would actually be competitive, sure Cotto would lose but still, it’s much better than the wipe out Cotto/Mayorga is destined to be. Complete wipe out, there is no doubt in my mind or Top Rank’s for that matter, this fight will be a land slide victory for Bob and all his cronies. What do we fans need to do to see a good fight now that all but one of Top Rank’s fighters has been exposed? Will they ever match their top guys against someone like a Berto or Martinez, a top fighter with skill and desire and not just a name fighter? I for one don’t see it happening.

Where has it left us, with a fight between Miguel Cotto and who else but washed up Ricardo Mayorga who couldn’t cut it in a short run as a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter. Who couldn’t cut it as a boxer back when he was relevant in boxing, rendered useless, a villain in a play to be viewed over and over again always with a new (but old) star looking to re-energize his career (De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley) long gone are the days when you made Vernon Forest look like well, you in so many of your late beat downs.

We all felt sorry for you after a while and maybe you missed the empathy of the crowd, shouts of “Leave him alone” like something out of an 80’s nerd gets the girl movie. But you became a bore long ago and you will be a bore once more when you step in the ring with Cotto to reprise your old role as punching bag. Sure you’ll show your chin early on as you do in an entertaining show of bravado and tough, sure you throw a wild haymaker that might catch Cotto on the top of his head at some point but in the end you will be the same old Mayorga. A Mayorga that does not deserve a title shot with any champion. But that’s what he is getting and that’s what we are getting and we have Bobby boy Arum and Top Rank to thank for this farce of a fight.

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