Boxing promoter Bob Arum (R) hugs boxer Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (L) following the latter’s victory over Joshua Clottey of Ghana in their World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas on March 13, 2010. Filipino superstar Pacquiao easily defeated Clottey by unanimous 12-round decision to retain his WBO welterweight title. AFP PHOTO/Chris Cozzone (Photo credit should read Chris Cozzone/AFP/Getty Images)
Bob Arum is no fan of bloggers and conference calls. On Monday, his two annoyances came together to add another bizarre chapter to the hype surrounding the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight on May 2.
Pacquiao was supposed to hold a conference call — which Arum said are “stupid” — on Monday in which he would address the media for the final time before Fight Week in Las Vegas. But it never really got off the ground.
It started with a series of technical glitches- trainer Freddie Roach was muffled and was barely audible- and ended with Arum yelling an obscenity and ending the call after a reporter for Examiner.com, Michael Marley, was identified as the first to ask a question by the moderator.
“Oh (expletive),” Arum said, before Marley could even ask the question. “Let’s just cancel the call.”
Arum later told the Daily News that only a select number of journalists were supposed to be on the line and that he didn’t expect bloggers to be included.
When Marley, who used to work for Don King as a publicist, was identified as the first person with a question by the moderator, Arum lost it.
Arum said he was under the impression that certain people involved in the fight’s public relations — Fred Sternburg and Ed Keenan ) were going to handle who was on the call.
“It was all f—– up,” Arum told the News. “First of all, I told them I didn’t want a conference call and they said, ‘No, we’ll just have the ‘A’ journalists on the call.’ And there were so many people that (Ed) Keenan, who was supposed to monitor this didn’t get through and the first call is from (expletive) Mike Marley. So I mean, I told them I didn’t want the bloggers on.”
Arum described conference calls as a waste of time and a platform that Pacquiao doesn’t exactly thrive in.
He also said he will never do a conference call again- spoiling any hope that Tuesday’s call might get rescheduled.
“First of all the conference calls are stupid,” he said. “What they should do is get a group of five or six writers and talk to Manny. Manny is no good on these calls. Once I heard that the first caller was Mike Marley I knew that they were screwed up. And that’s nothing against Marley but who the (expletive) is the ‘Examiner?’ Or whatever he said.”
Marley said he had every intention of asking a serious question and that he wasn’t offended by Arum’s actions.
“I was going to ask Manny a legit question on how he’s going to score a knockout on a defensive wizard like Mayweather, especially when Manny hasn’t stopped anyone since Miguel Cotto,” Marley said in a phone interview. “It’s a legit question. They solicited me. I got the email in good faith and I was ready to ask a question. The Examiner is not the smallest website in the world. It’s a legitimate website. I don’t take it personally. I’ve been in boxing long enough.”
Marley invoked a lesson he said he learned from King from his time working for him.
“Don taught me all publicity is good,” Marley said.
This isn’t the first bizarre behavior associated with the fight. Despite it being just a couple weeks again, tickets still haven’t gone on sale at the MGM.
“That’s a question to be addressed by the MGM,” Arum said. “But something doesn’t appear Kosher, wouldn’t you agree?”
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