Lem Satterfield

Bob Arum rips MGM for advertising Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana

LAS VEGAS — Tim Bradley, Manny Pacquiao and their respective camp members did not make any inflammatory statements during Wednesday's final press conference for their rematch on Saturday at the MGM Grand.

But just when it appeared there wouldn't be any trash talk, 82-year-old promoter Bob Arum stole the show by ripping the host venue during his turn at the podium.

With the MGM Grand's President of Sports and Entertainment, Richard Sturm, in attendance, the Top Rank CEO lashed out at the casino for advertising Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s Showtime Pay Per View-televised fight with Marcos Maidana that is being promoted by rival Golden Boy Promotions.

In addition to a large, more than 20-story mural of Mayweather which reads "Home of The Champion" on the side of the MGM facing The Strip — his outstretched arms held above his head — there are also posters plastered to the sides of slot machines, dangling and rotating from the ceilings and otherwise displayed in various places throughout the MGM.

Arum compared his treatment by the MGM to that he received from the Venetian Macao in Macau, China, where Pacquiao unanimously decisioned Brandon Rios last November.

"I'm not going to say it…well, the hell with it. I know that at the Venetian, they wouldn't make a mistake like this. They would know what fight they have scheduled over the next three or four days," said Arum, who introduced Sturm as "The President of hanging posters for the wrong fight."

"They wouldn't have a 12-to-1 fight being advertised all over the building that's going to take place three weeks from next Saturday. But that's why one company makes a billion dollars a quarter, and the other hustles to pay its debt. So there it is."

The media asked for a response from Sturm following the news conference. Several hours later, none was forthcoming.

However, Sturm issued the following statement on Wednesday night that was reported by ESPN.com.

"I was truly shocked by Bob's comments at (Wednesday's) press conference and honestly disappointed. MGM Grand hosted a fight March 8 and has three additional fight events scheduled now through Memorial Day weekend," said Sturm.

"We always do everything possible to properly promote the events throughout our resorts and over the decades have promoted many, many sporting events with enormous success.”

According to ESPN.com, Bill Hornbuckle, the MGM Resorts International president, added, "Aparently Bob's definitions of respect and class are different than ours."

Pacquiao didn't have much to add.

"Everything has all been said by both camps. We're obviously finished with our training. We're ready for Saturday. On Saturday, it's going to be a good fight. Nobody knows. Only God knows what's going to happen," said Pacquiao.

"Both fighters will do our job in the ring and to make you guys happy and to give a good fight. This fight is very important to me and to my boxing career. My opponent is claiming that this fight is very important also. It's going to be an historic fight."

Part of Arum's fun included introducing rapper Fashawn, who has composed Bradley's walk-in music and who will accompany the undefeated boxer during his ring entrance on Saturday.

"This is the new Top Rank," said Arum. "We're into the rap business."

During Bradley's turn at the podium, the 30-year-old fighter profusely thanked several different people, including his wife and manager, Monica.

In addition, however, Bradley also thanked the MGM for his room.

"I want to thank the MGM Grand, man, my room is amazing. I have never been in a hotel room with stairs," said Bradley, whose past three fights are comprised of beating Pacquiao, rising from a 12th-round knockdown to unanimously decision Ruslan Provodnikov last March, and winning a split decision over Marquez last October.

"I also want to thank Team Pacquiao and his whole team for coming to an agreement and giving me another shot and another chance to prove to all of the fans around the world that I'm a true champion and I'm a true fighter and that I'm the world champion again. As far as the fight, everything has been said. It doesn't really matter what we say, it's a matter of what we do."

As Bradley left the podium, however, he was greeted by Arum.

"Did I say all the right things?" Bradley asked Arum.

"Why don't you ask the guy whose picture is up all over the venue when he's going to fight somebody who is real?" said Arum.

"I’ll let you ask that," said Bradley.

Arum closed with, "If anything that I said today is incendiary, well, I'm an old guy, and I apologize."

Bradley and Pacquiao will earn $6 million each, according to Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Francisco Aguilar, although Arum has said that Pacquaio has been guaranteed $20 million after pay per view revenue.

For the other bouts on the card, Raymundo Beltran will pocket $85,000 compared to $80,000 for lightweight rival Arash Usmanee, WBA junior welterweight titleholder Khabib Allakhverdiev will make $250,000 to $90,00 for Jessie Vargas, and junior lightweight Bryan Vazquez $55,00 to $40,00 for tival Jose Felix Jr.

 

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