Saturday, November 5, 2011

Keep It In The Ring Notebook: Arum At It Again With Mayweather; A Full Weekend and More.

By Rich Mancuso

As Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez prepare for a third showdown in eight days, Bob Arum is at it again with his adversary Floyd Mayweather Jr. And there is no speculation as to why Mayweather, through is adviser Leonard Elerbe, said he is booking May 5 of 2012 as his next fight and referred to the opponent being “The little fella.”

This could be another attempt by Mayweather to stampede the Pacquiao media attention, days before the HBO Pay-Per-View fight that will once again result in good revenue for Arum and Top Rank. And for Mayweather, supposedly booking his next fight, this time six months in advance, it is so unlike the WBC champion who took a 16-month hiatus before meeting and defeating Victor Ortiz in September.

Maywather has become the expert when it comes to getting under the skin of Arum. This was the perfect opportunity to hint about the fight with Pacquiao which remains in the balance. Boxing receives more attention when Pacquiao is days away from defending another title Mayweather will not allow his legacy to be tarnished by placing the blame on Arum and Pacquiao if the fight is not made.

So when you hear comments coming from Mayweather, or from one of his cronies, what is to be believed? There are still major legal issues that surround the WBC champion one that includes domestic violence and assault. There has always been the issue of Mayweather confronting financial issues because of fees that have incurred with the personal issues, add to the fact that he has become a once a year fighter.

But now with a major part of the welterweight championship and a fight with Pacquiao that has been on and off the past two years, one that will surpass an all- time pay-per-view record, Mayweather has no reason to hide. And with the latest word coming from the Mayweather camp, plus a response from Arum, what do you get? Media attention that boxing needs, but the sport should not revolve around Mayweather, Pacquiao, and Arum theatrics.

It has become a sitcom with more to come with Arum and Mayweather. The so called experts of boxing, those who come out of hiding when Mayweather and Arum speak, should remain silent. Because they need to brush up on their boxing history, know the facts and keep the steroid issue out of the picture, one that has become an old story. Pacquiao has said he is willing to follow protocol for Olympic style testing to get the fight signed and sealed. Arum has also stated that Pacquiao has agreed and that is not an issue as to why this fight is not on the calendar.

This is Mayweather politics, waiting for the outcome of Pacquiao and Marquez, or Pacquiao and another future opponent. May 5, 2012, is supposed to be the next time we see Mayweather in the ring and a major venue has been selected. The “Little fella” we all assume is Pacquiao. Arum believes this is all a joke by Mayweather, and the media should not be a tool to getting a message across when it comes to, what is expected to be, the most recent and anticipated fight in boxing history.

The Mayweather camp says, “We’re looking to make this the biggest fight possible.” The biggest fight now is Mayweather trying to get under the skin of Arum and it may not work. Until the fight is official it will be a war of words. Arum has other priorities and is focused on next Saturday, and until then, after an expected win by Pacquiao, Mayweather will once again remain silent.

But the general consensus is, Mayweather waits for Pacquiao to lose and is avoiding a fight that boxing and fans have been anticipating.

Either you have nothing or a bonanza of televised fight cards and Saturday night there are seven on the boxing calendar, some with more interest than others. It is again a situation of a sport not in control as promoters and networks see an ending of the year, fill their dates to their needs and not taking the boxing fan into consideration.

HBO and Showtime will go head again, something that is becoming an occurrence. Alfredo Angulo opposes James Kirkland as the highlight on HBO, a WBC light middleweight title eliminator promoted by Golden Boy, and Showtime counters with a super middleweight title bout, one that may have more interest, Luce Bute defending against Glen Johnson.

Though, Showtime is using this fight to promote the final of their everlasting Super Six Classic on December 17 between Andre Ward and Carl Froch at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. HBO and Showtime will overlap because Angulo and Kirkland start and hour later at 10:15PM on the east.

Don King returns to television with his new Wealth TV Network venture, limited on cable systems but available on most I-Phones and other forms of new technology with an 11-fight card, four championships including a defense for WBA cruiserweight champion Guillermo Jones from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood Florida.

Super flyweights Tomas Rojas and Dario Azuaga are on Fox Deportes, Now a number one ranked heavyweight Chris Arreola opposes Raphael Butler on an ESPN Deportes card from Mexico, Telefutura has an interesting late fight, middleweights Sergio Mora and Shibata Flores, and at Foxwoods Resort up in Connecticut heavyweights Mariusc Wach opposes Jason Gavern on Azteca America.

Interesting fights, some with implications. And if the boxing fan wants a taste of the UFC, tune to Spike TV and see Chris Leben take on Juan Munoz. But the demographics say UFC will have their own fans, and the boxing fan will have the remote busy, assuming all the channels are available on their cable or satellite systems. The good thing, an extra hour of sleep as the clocks turn back for daylight savings time.

Jermain Taylor parted ways with promoter Lou DiBella, is in a reported comeback mode. The former middleweight champion was pulled from the Super Six because of recurring injuries and DiBella was concerned about his safety. Now there is talk that Taylor is making a comeback with DiBella once again calling the shots. A sit down with media as to where and when Taylor will return is planned for next week…

Add another fight for Saturday, Wembley Arena in London. Ricky Burns of Scotland steps up in weight from super feather to lightweight taking on Michael Katsidis for the interim WBO lightweight title… Andrew Golota, the Polish heavyweight known for two fiasco fights with Riddick Bowe is contemplating a comeback at 43 years of age. Now we don’t need more evidence that the heavyweight division is a farce with too many of this 40-year old club trying to seek one more day of glory…

The December 10th HBO televised Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson super lightweight championship bout, from Washington D.C. got stronger with the announced co feature between the America, heavyweight Seth Mitchell in his HBO debut, opposing the highly touted Timur Ibragimov.

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