Boxing


Promoter Bob Arum Defends De La Hoya-Pacquiao Clash, Fires Back At "Haters."

by James Slater - Without a doubt, Saturday night's big Oscar De La Hoya Vs. Manny Pacquaio "Dream Fight" has received its share of criticism. A number of fans, and indeed experts, have moaned out loud about how the match-up is nothing but a cynical money-maker of a fight, and that there is and was always only going to be one winner - the much bigger De La Hoya. And these people certainly have a point..

However, promoter Bob Arum, a man who definitely knows his boxing history, says the fight is nothing less than an example of what used to happen in the old days, when it was common for a smaller fighter to move up in weight and challenge a naturally bigger boxer.

Arum has gone on record as saying the people who are complaining about December 6th's mega-fight are nothing more than "haters" and "know-nothings." Arum said the negativity being shown towards the upcoming fight is wholly out of order.

"This [negativity] flies in the face of the whole history of boxing," Arum said. "Throughout history smaller guys went up in weight - it has to be an exceptional smaller guy, it can't be a run-of-the-mill smaller guy - to fight great fighters in the higher weights and very often the little guy won. That happens all the time.

"From my standpoint I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to Manny Pacquiao, who is the icon of a nation with 90 million people. I wouldn't have allowed this fight to happen if I didn't feel in my heart of hearts that Manny could win the fight. That doesn't mean he will, I really believe he will win and it is very, very competitive."

Arum went on to say that he is not alone in thinking "Pac-Man" can win the fight.

"In Manny Pacquiao you're not dealing with just an ordinary fighter," Arum said. "You don't put somebody in a fight that you don't believe he can win and your matchmakers don't believe he can win, just for money. You don't do that. I believe Manny will win the fight. Freddie Roach believes he will win the fight. Bruce Trampler believes he can and will win the fight. Those are the people whose views I respect. The haters out there and the know-nothings out there can say what they want. It has no effect on me."

One thing is clear, and that's the fact that the fight has already done great business at the live gate - with all tickets sold within mere hours. How well the fight does in the pay-per-view market remains to be seen, as some fans agree with Arum's sentiments, while others say the fight is nothing but a phoney.

For what it's worth, this writer will be tuning in and feels millions more will be doing the same!

Article posted on 03.12.2008



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