No end in sight to Golden Boy-Top Rank divide
Outside the obstacles that have kept the sport's super-fight -- Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. -- on hold, there is a devastating cold war that exists in the silence between the sport's top two promoters, Bob Arum's Top Rank and Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions.
The companies are engaged in legal disputes regarding percentages of Pacquiao profits and a defamation claim made by the Filipino superstar, and they haven't made a fight together in nearly two years.
"It appears to me they have nobody that matches up with our guys," Arum said Tuesday.
Translation: "I'm not dealing with those guys."
On Wednesday, Golden Boy Chief Executive Richard Schaefer answered, "I'm sick and tired of Bob Arum. I don't want to talk about him. He's a miserable guy."
Schaefer is upset that his overture to let Top Rank handle the promotion of a third fight between Top Rank's Pacquiao and Golden Boy's Juan Manuel Marquez failed to be embraced, with Arum opting to schedule Pacquiao (a 7-to-1 favorite) against Golden Boy exile Shane Mosley.
"I went out of my way, I've been nice," Schaefer said. "It was my New Year's resolution to have no more negativity. I want to have positive thoughts and deal with positive people. If [Arum] wants to change and be more positive and treat people with respect, not arrogance, he knows my number."
Arum said he opted for Mosley instead of Marquez May 7 in Las Vegas because Pacquiao knocked Marquez down in a 2008 split decision, and he was concerned that Pacquiao's increased strength would result in a one-sided bout.
Few boxing people share that belief, but this is how Arum elaborated:
"The very quick knockout hurts my brand," he said. "Mosley is a more entertaining fight for Pacquiao than Marquez."
Arum said he'd be open to having a Top Rank fighter take a bout against a Golden Boy fighter, as long as only one company handles the promotion, based on differences that emerged in handling the May 2009 bout between Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton.
"I have no desire to do a co-promotion with them," Arum said.
That friction is depriving the sport of some natural showdowns, such as Pacquiao-Marquez III or a possible bantamweight unification bout between the Feb. 19 winner of Top Rank's Fernando Montiel-Ninito Donaire bout versus Golden Boy's Abner Mares, should he win his April bout at the Nokia Theatre against Joseph Agbeko.
Instead, Arum said he envisions Montiel and Donaire either both moving up in weight or having a rematch.
Schaefer said he found it disappointing that no one from Las Vegas-based Top Rank attended a summit of boxing promoters Monday in Las Vegas.
"You don't get anywhere with Bob Arum; I don't want to talk about him," he said.
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press