Philosophical Bob Arum

By Robert Ecksel on July 3, 2017
Philosophical Bob Arum
The new acclaim won’t be like the old acclaim. Neither will the money. (Sumio Yamada)

Nothing shocks Bob Arum. He is philosophical. He has planned for this eventuality. He has planned for every eventuality…

He has been called many things over the years, but philosophical might not be the first word that comes to mind when describing Bob Arum.

But if it concerns Manny Pacquiao, anything is possible.

Saturday’s loss to Jeff Horn was no more comprehensible than his 2012 loss to Timothy Bradley. The consensus view of both fights was that the judges got it wrong. Manny got his revenge and beat Bradley. It’s not hard to imagine he won’t get his revenge over Horn if he fights the Aussie a second time.

However monumental Saturday’s defeat, it was not as monumental as Manny’s loss to Juan Manuel Marquez six months after the loss to Bradley. The impossible had not only happened—Pacquiao sprawled out, dead to the world, as beaten as a fighter can be—it looked like it might happen again. Horn didn’t KO Manny. He didn’t even win the fight. Call it home cooking. Call it a robbery. Call it incompetent judging or worse. We’ve heard and seen it before and we’ll hear and see it again and nothing ever seems to change in the interim.

But even Bob Arum, a dyed-in-the-wool partisan if there ever was one, accepts that the Horn fight was “close” and “could have gone either way.”

“I know Jeff would welcome the rematch,” Arum said, “but I don’t know Manny’s future position. Is he going to stay in politics and not continue in boxing? I don’t know, and he doesn’t know now—it’s unfair to ask him now.”

If Arum doesn’t know his future position nobody does. But Manny’s future is politics. Boxing is soon to be his past. And while he isn’t getting any younger and disappointing performances are now the norm, Pacquiao will fight for as long he can. The new acclaim won’t be like the old acclaim. Neither will the money.

“A couple of close rounds, but you can’t argue with the result,” continued Arum. “I scored a lot of the early rounds for Jeff. Then I had Manny coming back in the middle. The 12th round, Jeff really won. If you give Manny the 11th, you have it a draw. You give Jeff the 11th, it’s 7-5.”

Manny’s fans are in still shock at the scorecards in Australia. But nothing shocks Bob Arum. He is philosophical. He has planned for this eventuality. He has planned for every eventuality.

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