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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Globetrotter

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Promoter Bob Arum has been busy racking up frequent flier miles the past couple of weeks. His journey started when he flew overseas to the Philippines to witness first hand just how Manny Pacquiao was doing in Baguio, as he preps for his November 14Th battle with Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

There’s always a lot of rumors and speculation when it comes to ’the Pac Man’. But what the veteran promoter saw for himself, assuaged any concerns that he may have had regarding the Filipino icons physical condition.

" He’s in sensational shape and it’s inhumane that type of workout. Inhumane. There are very few people in the world that can go through that type of workout and do it everyday. Very few," Arum told Maxboxing on Monday afternoon. When Pacquiao as much sneezes, it becomes national news in his country and you rest assured you’ll read panicked headlines that blare,’ Pacquiao Suffering from the Swine Flu?!?!’ But Arum says he takes all the innuendo and whispers of a much-too-casual Pacquiao in stride." Until I see him, I don’t believe anything anybody tells me. So I saw with my own eyes what the deal was and I can’t see how possibly he can get in any better shape than he’s getting into."

Arum caused a bit of a stir during his visit by announcing that Pacquiao’s next bout will take place on March 13Th of 2010. But he clarified his statement.

" That depends on the political situation in the Philippines," he explained." If he runs for Congress on the party list, it could be after March 13Th. If he runs for Congress in this particular district, it will have to be by March 13Th. So I’m not going to know anything, really definitive, until a day after the fight."

On this day, Arum was in Tampa, Florida, for Cotto’s media day. Cotto started his camp a good month before Pacquiao got back into the thick of things. This is the most focused Arum has ever seen him. " Yes, definitely, I mean, I’m looking at him, right now, he’s jumping rope before he starts sparring and he’s in unbelievable condition."

You get the sense that Cotto has a real sense of urgency, as if he’s standing as an elite boxer is at stake. But Arum, playing the role of promoter- who just happens to have both sides of the equation- states that everyone will come out a winner on this night.

" My belief is that this fight is going to be such an unbelievable fight and a real classic that there wont be a loser. And if he loses the fight to Manny, he’ll be remembered for this unbelievably great fight and his marketability and everything will be enhanced," Arum said.

One interesting side note to this promotion is just how well it will do from a pay-per-view perspective, especially in light of the strong numbers posted by Floyd Mayweather in his return versus Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19Th. Make no doubt about it, when it comes to negotiating a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, or Cotto-Mayweather for that matter, a significant issue that will be addressed is how these respective pay-per-view events fared. Mayweather-Marquez did in the neighborhood of a million buys. Arum says that ’Fire Power’ will do similar numbers- if not beyond.

" Yes, I think based on the ticket sales, based on the closed-circuit requests and based on the actions of the cable companies and the satellite companies, the amount of money being spent, I’ve never seen them put so much into a fight. So they certainly believe it will go over," said the veteran promoter.

In between his trips to see Pacquiao and Cotto, Arum was in New York this past weekend where Top Rank staged another edition of ’Latin Fury’ from the Theater at Madison Square Garden. It turned out to be quite a memorable show as the main event saw WBO jr. featherweight titlist, Juan Manuel Lopez just barely holding off the rugged Rogers Mtagwa, in what was one of the years best fights. On the undercard, Yuriorkis Gamboa halted Whyber Garcia in four. Their next assignments will be on an HBO ’Boxing After Dark’ telecast. The plan is for these two to eventually meet.

" They’re going to fight January 23rd in Puerto Rico," confirmed Arum." Yuriorkis is going to fight Bernabe Concepcion and we’re going to take Juan Manuel to California to have the nutritionist look at him and to see if he’s hurting himself going down to 122. If he is, we’ll move him right away to 126."

Source: http://www.maxboxing.com/news/promo-lead/the-globetrotter

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