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Pacquiao - Bradley 3 becomes Bob Arum's battle cry against Donald Trump: "Ali would be standing shoulder to shoulder with me, believe me."


PhilBoxing.com




Las Vegas - The 2016 Nevada Presidential Caucuses concluded last February but this week, a big boxing event in this city is doubling as a political protest against the winner of the state's Republican Party caucus and its current front runner - Donald J. Trump.

Leading that charge is Bob Arum, the 83 year old CEO and founder of Top Rank Boxing, promoter of this weekend's headliner, the third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.

"Let's all settle down. Let's show some decorum. This isn't a Trump rally." Arum addressed the rowdy crowd gathered at one of this week's scheduled activities in one of the conference rooms of the MGM Grand Las Vegas, the site of his event.

Arum has become the most outspoken critic of Trump not only in boxing but in the whole of sports and he stressed his belief that a Trump presidency is bad for the United States.

"Donald Trump is not just bad for boxing, he is bad for the country. The country cannot tolerate a Trump. They're not going to take eleven and a half a million people out of this country and deport them. That's horrible. That's cruel. The man is a hatemonger," Arum told Philboxing.

Arum doubled as an emcee slash political commentator in a press conference for the undercard fights of Pacquiao versus Bradley held Thursday morning and there reiterated his opposition to Trump's controversial immigration pronouncements by placing Mexican fighters in the three fights before Pacquiao versus Bradley.

He calls it "The No Trump Card."

"These fighters stand for something special. They stand for equality, for justice for the Hispanic people, for the documented citizens and undocumented who live amongst us, who have to be treated fairly and with justice because they contribute so much to the United States."

At first it looks like Arum's ploy is to attract the sympathy of the biggest buyer of his pay-per-view cards and shows and Trump's target in his campaign sorties - the Mexican and the Latino community - in purchasing his Saturday offering which is in dire need of buzz because of the public's tepid response to the main event.

But the Harvard Law alum who once worked as a lawyer for John and Robert Kennedy is also showing his blue Democrat color in rallying his audience against Trump who is expected to run against Hilary Clinton in the November elections.

And why is the world's leading boxing promoter talking about politics in selling his event - because he can and because he is convinced that The Sweet Science can rally its diverse group of fans to put the thumbs down on the businessman turned politician.

And there's no better time to stage it than during Fight Week of his company's biggest promotion of 2016.

"And if you say, what are you doing talking about what is essentially a political and social issue in the promotion of boxing event? I say, Why not? Because the people that are involved in boxing feel deeply about these issues. The one thing that boxing has that many other sports don't is that we believe in boxing and equality."

Arum is a paradox that only the boxing world has grown accustomed to. His enterprising introduction and promotion of opposing fighters who are out to punch the other guy's head off for prize money is is tempered with his criticism of Trump's campaign tactics.

"It's important for us in the sport of boxing to speak out when we have a candidate spewing hate," said Arum in the press conference.

Arum who promoted American boxing legend, cultural and social icon, Muhammad Ali in the past has no doubt that if Ali is active in the sports and the public eye these days, he will be at his side in his defiance of Trump.

"Ali would be standing shoulder to shoulder with me, believe me."

During his fighting days, Ali not only excelled in the sport but was very involved in various social and political issues that the country was facing in the 1960's and 1970's.

Photo: Top Rank's Bob Arum (L) shares a light moment with Mexico's Zurdo Ramirez during the 'No Trump' Pacquiao-Bradley Undercard press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Thursday.

You can reach the author at rrmaze24@aol.com and @Freemazon910 on Twitter.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rich Mazon .


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