Arum: I Agree With Roach, Pacman Distractions Must Be Curtailed Now!

30.01.07 - by Michael Marley, They've been in opposite corners. Trainer Freddie Roach played a supporting role, some say a leading role, in trying to steer the universe's most popular fighter to Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions. Rival Bob Arum wanted Manny Pacquaio in the Top Rank promotional tent. A protracted legal war between Arum and his former charge, Oscar, continues but, as it drags on, Roach and Arum may have found something which they can both embrace. Both the trainer and the promoter believe that Pacman needs to leave his beloved Philippines, relocate to SoCal and get down to business asap at Roach's Wild Card Gym in Hollywood..

Neither one is asking for Manny to cloister himself in a seminary but both believe his burning the candle at both ends lifestyle at home is not conducive to in the ring success.

Following Manny's nocturnal and other exploits is like trying to keep track of how many nightclubs Paris Hilton frequents every evening...Pacman gets 20 gun permits for his army of bodyguards...Pacman may run for political office...Pacman is out late cranking out the karaoke songs in saloons...Pacman plays pool until the wee hours. Suffice to say no one is accusing the fun-loving, 28-year-old of spending too much time at a library.

With contracts ready to be signed for his April 28 Macau bout with Korean iron man In Jin Chi, Roach and Arum are in tune about the boxer buckling down.

It's just surprising to hear Arum, who had been cursing the trainer, saying he "endorses" Roach's professional opinion.

"I agree with Roach," Arum told me in an exclusive interview from his Las Vegas office high atop the Howard Hughes Center. "Manny is going to have stop all the stuff and stop playing around. Time for play is over and the time for real work is here. I absolutely agree with Roach on this."

Arum said that Pacman must be confined to Los Angeles while he puts in his training time. His business mission, Arum said, would be mission impossible in his native land.

"It would be impossible for him at home," Arum said. "Manny must be isolated over here. His popularity at home is so unbelievable. I saw it and I still don't believe it. He's like Muhammad Ali used to be. You walk with him, through the streets, through an airport, they are taking pictures, wanting to shake his hand. Everybody wants a piece of Manny, everybody wants to be able to say I touched him or he touched my baby or whatever. They all want Manny's personal touch or a word from him and it becomes an impossible scene."

Switching subjects, Arum has two ex-charges fighting in the boxing Super Bowl on May 5 in Vegas. Who does he pick to win, Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Oscar? Naturally, the cagey Arum ducks and dodges.

"I am staying on the fence on that fight," Arum said. "I might have gone for Oscar if he had his regular guy (trainer), Floyd Sr. I think Oscar will and should hire (Nacho) Beristain as his new trainer. He's trained so many champions and he speaks Spanish. Nacho is just a good trainer. I think that is a sensible thing for Oscar to do."

It's doubtful, since their respective legal teams will soon be scheduling depositions as to who did what to whom and when and how vis-a-vis Pacquaio, that the Golden Boy will be soliciting advice of any kind from Uncle Bob.

Article posted on 30.01.2007

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