Top Rank promotions head honcho, Bob Arum, was at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California on Sunday for the Top Rank on ESPN card featuring Jose Ramirez vs. Jose Zepeda and Ray Beltran vs. Hiroki Okada.
The longtime boxing promoter has promoted some of boxing’s best from Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Manny Pacquiao to name a few.
Arum was the driving force behind the welterweight rise of Filipino boxing icon Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao, he promoted the current WBA “regular” welterweight champion for over a decade and pit him in against the right opponents to build his name on Pay-Per-View.
Pacquiao cut ties with Arum after his controversial loss in July of 2017 to Australian boxer Jeff Horn in Brisbane. Many fans felt the Aussie got a gift decision in his hometown and Pacquiao was robbed of his WBO world title.
Horn eventually fought Top Rank’s American star Terence Crawford and lost by TKO.
Pacquiao went on to sign with Arum’s rival Al Haymon and PBC.
Arum told media at the Save Mart Center the reason the Manny Pacquiao vs. Terence Crawford fight never came to light because members in Pacquiao’s team worried for his health going against a young, hungry, prime fighter like Crawford.
“The people close to Pacquiao told me not to make that (Crawford) fight because it would inevitably result not only a loss but maybe getting hurt,” Arum said. “I never offered the fight to Manny because it’s not a competitive fight, maybe 5 to 10 years ago, just like Pacquiao versus Errol Spence is not a competitive fight.”
Arum also felt he was obliged to protect the Filipino ring legends health because he wouldn’t want him to get seriously hurt since he is such an inspiration to his people and a politician in his country.
“Manny Pacquiao means too much to the Philippine people and contributed so much to boxing, I wouldn’t want to put him in a position where he was soundly defeated and maybe even got hurt,” said Arum.
Pacquiao’s first fight with Al Haymon was Showtime PPV against Adrien Broner, he eventually won a unanimous decision and the fight was a success selling over 400,000 PPV buys.
Arum felt Broner was the right type of opponent for a 40-year-old Pacquiao because he couldn’t hurt him, but if he faces someone like Errol Spence Jr. it wouldn’t be competitive and he could badly hurt.