Bob Arum Denies Feud With Floyd Mayweather Jr. As Pacquiao Fight Tickets May Hit $100,000
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his camp apparently accused Bob Arum of obstructing the negotiations for a fight with Manny Pacquiao, before the deal for that May 2 megafight was finalized on February 20 — but now that the deal is done and it appears that everyone will make huge amounts of money from the fight, Arum says that he and his former protege never had any bad blood.
Arum was Mayweather’s promoter for the first decade of the undefeated pound-for-pound king’s career, but the two underwent an acrimonious split in 2006, with each suing the other over, what else, money? Mayweather said that Arum owed him cash from his fight purses, and Arum countered that Mayweather had actually taken money from Arum’s company, Top Rank Inc., and failed to pay it back.
In fact, as recently as 2012, Arum compared Floyd Mayweather to Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda chief in Nazi Germany, claiming that Mayweather was creating the false impression that Pacquiao refused to submit to drug testing for the fight which at that time remained far from reality.
But all of that is water under the bridge, according to Arum. In fact, it might as well have never happened.
“I’ve never had a problem with Floyd. A lot of people made an issue of this great feud that Floyd and I had with each other, but that wasn’t the case,” said Arum, quoted by the Fight Saga boxing site “Floyd is very close and friendly with my step son, Todd DuBoef.”
DuBoef runs the day-to-day operations for Arum’s Top Rank. Bob Arum has been one of the top promoters in boxing — arguably the top promoter — since he first make his mark in the 1960s and ’70s as the promoter of many of Muhammad Ali‘s most historic fights. Of course, Arum now promotes Manny Pacquiao.
“Whenever I ran into Floyd, whether it was at Jerry Jones’ box at the Super Bowl or other places, we embraced each other,” Arum says.
But even with Arum’s five decades at the top of the boxing business — even through the now-legendary trilogy of heavyweight fights between Ali and Joe Frazier — the 83-year-old promoter says he has never witnessed demand for fight tickets as great as he is now seeing for the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. I mean maybe it’s the fact that the ‘one precent’ has so much money, that money doesn’t really mean anything,” Arum said in an ESPN interview Friday. I’ve been offered for top ringside seats $100,000 a seat, I mean that seems to me to be crazy.”
Arum also predicted that Floyd Mayweather Vs. Manny Pacquaio, despite what will certainly be the highest pay-per-view price ever, would not only break the pay-per-view record of 2.4 million buys for the 2007 Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya fight, it would shatter that mark, raking in between 4 million and 5 million buys, Arum said.
[Images: Chris Hyde/Kevin Winter/Getty Images]