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Q&A: Bob Arum!

March 26, 2007

By Felipe Leon

Top Rank's Bob Arum held court at La Piñata restaurant in San Diego, CA recently to announce "Blaze of Glory", Manny Pacquiao's return to the ring after his three-round slaying of Mexican great Erik Morales last November. On April 14th from San Antonio TX's Alamodome, Pacquiao (43-3-2, 34KO) will defend his WBC International super featherweight title against undefeated Jorge Solis (32-0-2, 23KO). In the co-main event, Cristian Mijares (30-3-2, 12KO) will defend his WBC super flyweight strap against the ever entertaining Jorge "Travieso" Arce (46-3-1, 35KO). Brian Viloria (19-1-1, 12KO) and Edgar Sosa (26-5-0, 14KO) will clash for the vacant WBC junior flyweight title. To fill out the card the son of a legend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (30-0-1, 23KO) will face Anthony Shuller (20-4-1, 14KO) on his way to the much rumored showdown with Arturo Gatti.

Arum touched on all these fights, his legal battle with Golden Boy, plus much more in this very candid sit down with Fightnews.

Recently Golden Boy had an injunction denied in court to stop this Pacquiao-Solis fight, care to comment?

We were always confident that we were in the right in this situation. But be that as it may, I am absolutely appalled that Oscar is a fighter that is in line to make a tremendous amount of money in his own fight in May, millions and millions of dollars, will have the temerity to try to go to court to stop another fighter to fight and earn money. Now if he goes to court to fight me to collect money and so forth, I can see that. That is business. That is OK, but not to go to court to try to stop this kid Pacquiao from fighting, which is exactly what they tried to do and at the same time they would have stopped Viloria from fighting, Chavez from fighting. And he is supposed to be changing boxing and he is supposed to be doing great things for boxing? What about this statement in which he said that he would never sue a fighter? What kind of nonsense is this? The question that has to be asked is it Oscar or is it Richard Schaefer? But don't profess to be one way and be another way and I tell you, and I really mean this, if the Philippine people boycott that May 5th fight and don't buy the PPV, I wouldn't blame them.

As far as the fight in question between Pacquiao and Solis, do you have any thoughts on the fact that Freddie Roach has come out publicly and stated that Solis was chosen without any of his knowledge and that you in fact chose Solis and that he doesn't know anything about the fighter such as whether he is tall or short, southpaw, etc, etc?

That may or may not be the case. We submitted the fighter to Manny and if Manny felt that Freddie needed to be consulted, he would have consulted Freddie. In other words, it is not my job to consult the trainer. I mean, I didn't say 'this is the guy you got to fight.' I said 'here is a guy I think is very good.' He just fought for us in Vegas. He is a tremendous fighter. He is very, very good. I mean I am not going to put a bad fight on. So we submitted films and everything, we sent it to the Philippines and, as I said, who Manny wanted to consult at that point was his own business. We would never go to Freddie. He is the trainer. If we heard that Manny was consulting Freddie, that would have been fine.

As far as the list that was submitted, was there anybody on the list?

Yeah, there were a lot of names on the list but this was the name of somebody we felt would test Manny and make a really good fight.

Did Top Rank pick Solis being that he is Mexican his style would be one of a brawler?

No, we picked Solis because we at that point knew that the fight was going to be in San Antonio which has a big Mexican and Mexican-American population and we wanted to get a Mexican but not because he was brawler. Just because he is Mexican doesn't mean that he is a brawler. In the little that I have seen him fight, he's a combination boxer/puncher. He is not a real brawler, we knew that.

So do you foresee Pacquiao having a tough fight?

Yes, it is going to be real hard fight that is why he trained so hard in the Philippines. The truth is that if Solis had to fight somebody like Barrera, I don't know who would win that fight.

What are your thoughts on the Arce-Mijares fight?

Hey, that certainly has to be Arce's toughest fight in the last ten years. Mijares is a tremendous fighter, I think Arce is a little stronger but it's a great fight.

Even at the fact that Mijares is a natural super flyweight?

Yeah, I don't think that matters. I don't know how in the hell Arce was getting down to the weight he was getting down to because he is a relatively big guy. But I think it really is going to be a sensational fight, it is really a toss-up fight and in Mexico they are all talking about it.

As far as Arce's entrance can you give us any indication of what he might do?

I shudder to hear it. I told him no elephants; I really did (laughs). The horse was one thing, I couldn't believe that but Arce will think of something really clever. Now Manny is talking of topping Arce with an entrance, but that is good for boxing. That makes it fun.

Does Top Rank see Arce as their next Mexican superstar a la Morales?

We believe that Arce is a superstar in the making. We see that both networks, HBO and Showtime, are very interested in putting Arce on their networks because he gets great ratings, has a great fan base and is a terrific fighter. I hope that one of these days I can proudly announce, like I did with Michael Carbajal, that we will pay him a million dollar purse....and it is possible because that guy is really coming on in popularity.

Being that Arce wins this fight, how close can we get to an Arce-Darchynian showdown?

We were approached by Showtime to do an Arce-Darchynian fight and we are happy to do that fight, no problem. Top Rank has to be the promoter.

No co-promotion?

Well, he can have his name up and be involved in the officials and in that kind of stuff but he is not going to be involved in the business with me because he drives my people nuts....

Gary Shaw?

Gary Shaw just drives you nuts. Give me a break, I am not going to tolerate it, I mean, I will pay him. We would work something out and I thought that was OK, at least Showtime told me that was OK but Gary had second thoughts, so....

So that is definitely not in the works?

Hey, the door is always open, Arce would love to fight Darchinyan, love it. But there are a lot of great guys he can fight, there is Navarro, Martin Castillo, those are the guys he is going to fight, no more Lers.

Do you have any more dates with HBO lined up for Arce?

Yes, HBO has offered July 29th and Showtime has offered us July 7th.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, do you have an opponent for his fight?

Yes, Anthony Shuller, kid from the Midwest, good record, give him a good fight. We think that Chavez is getting so much better that we are not hesitant to get him in with some name fighters and we are going to end up putting him in before the end of the year with top name fighters.

Do you see Chavez Jr fighting for a youth title against a big name?


Timothy Bradley maybe?

I see him fighting a bigger name than Timothy Bradley, a big name, a big fight that would make sense for September or November, something like that. After this fight I want to expose him again on the Cotto card and then to a big fight for the fall.

Brian Viloria, how important is this fight for him?

It's everything. He has looked bad in his last couple of fights and he has a new trainer now, Joe Goossen, and I think a different attitude and I think Joe will drive him to be the best Viloria that he can be.

Why San Antonio for Manny Pacquiao?

Well, when we started doing the fight, Golden Boy in their own vicious way started sending out letters threatening to sue everybody. So we were going to go to Vancouver and we had a big fight fee up there and a lot of Filipinos and they scared them off. So we said 'let's go to a place where they will stand up to these guys' so we went to San Antonio and we knew that Manny will draw well, Arce will draw well, San Antonio is a great town. We are very pleased, we have sold many tickets.

Back to Pacquiao, after the fight between Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez, in your eyes, which fight do you think is a better fight for Pacquiao, Barrera or Marquez?

I don't know if it is either of them. I think there are some major fights out there. I think the most difficult fight would be with Humberto Soto, people that love boxing would love to see that fight, that would be a very interesting fight and then he would love to fight either Marquez or Barrera, it depends....

And Golden Boy?

I don't know if Barrera is still with Golden Boy, he says he isn't but who knows? And Marquez can't draw flies. He is a good fighter but he can't draw flies.

Where did you hear that Barrera is not with Golden Boy anymore?

He has told people. First of all at the post fight interview he said 'maybe it is time for me say bye bye to Golden Boy' and he has told people that he has no contract with Golden Boy. Whether that is true or not, I don't know and I am not interfering. Somebody has to show me that he is not with them before I will sit down with him.

Do you think that is a step in the right direction to maybe make a Barrera-Pacquaiao fight because Oscar is not in the picture?

That is still a very attractive fight; Barrera is still a very attractive fighter.

As far as Top Rank, will you ever put an obstacle to have Golden Boy and Top Rank fighters fight each other?

Absolutely not. I have been in this business for forty years and for much of the time in the business my bitter enemy has been Don King and look how many great fight Don and I have put on together because we are boxing people. We understand that we can fight (between ourselves) but if there is a chance to put a big fight, you cooperate and you put on the big fight. That is how boxing people think. The problem with Golden Boy is that is run by a Swiss banker who is not a boxing guy and he doesn't understand any of that stuff

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Kinda had me thinking after i read this....
Is Barrera With goldenboy still????
was there somthing that happend that they want Marquez as there new face???
Why Would BoB say marco isnt with them no more, does he know somthing no one knows yet??
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