Philippines, 28 Nov 2022
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Pacquiao: Do Not Go After Arum (Part One)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY--Manny Pacquiao is still in deep, excruciating pain. The stitches from the head butts he suffered have already started to heal, the glow in his face is back, nary the tell-tale signs of a brutal brawl in Brisbane, Australia last Sunday.

Despite the serene mien, Pacquiao is trying to hide the wounds, the source of which are very much painful and deep. They are emotional in nature, the ones that heal most difficultly, a proverbial thorn in his side.

Prior to the fight with Jeff Horn which he eventually lost by a controversial fashion beamed and watched by millions around the world, Pacquiao was already bothered by Robert "Bob" Arum's behavior.

Pacquiao struggled past a very formidable "opponent" even before the first punch was ever thrown and Arum had a lot to do with it.

In and around January 2017, five months prior, Pacquiao faced off with his 85-year-old promoter Arum who apparently tried to systematically diminish, devalue and disrespect Pacquiao, the boxer, who is also a respected and well-loved senator of the Philippines.

According to unimpeachable sources, Arum, the shrewd and cold-blooded businessman, battled Pacquiao in a game of high-stakes "poker" translating to millions of dollars, which could be either won or lost by both sides. Initially, Arum offered Pacquiao a measly 30 percent stake from the whole Australian "pie" when the negotiations were underway leading to the Horn fight.

The main reason why the Australia fight broke down initially was due to Pacquiao's thumbing down and rejection of Arum's bluff. Arum's deal-breaker of a proposal was for him to get a promoter's fee of 20 percent of the whole pie and his Australian counterpart, Duco Promotions, getting the other 50 percent for a total of 70 percent.

The thirty-twenty-fifty (30-20-50) percent proposition was so unacceptable and insulting that Pacquiao ordered his team to look somewhere else, in an unusual defiant stance against the wily fox Arum's wishes. Arum will not participate in dealing with prospective bidders, including Dubai and a consortium from the United Arab Emirates, unless he gets his acts straightened out.

Arum, as history would later reveal, succumbed and agreed on a deal giving Pacquiao more parity and a reported $10 million guarantee and not the pittance of a "30-20-50" sharing scheme reminiscent of scenes from the Merchant of Venice.

"Huwag na ninyo siyang tirahin," said Pacquiao. "Matanda na siya." ("Do not go after Arum," said Pacquiao, "He is already old"). This, despite Arum's approval of the results of Pacquiao's fight with Horn, which was much criticized around the world.

Pacquiao's contract with Arum expired during the Horn fight. A rematch clause is stipulated in the contract and Pacquiao, now free from any contractual obligations, is still keeping his options open whether or not to renew with Arum.

"I just noticed something was not right and their body language revealed things that I did not notice before," said Pacquiao.

Pacquiao was Arum's former premium milking cow, the darling of his eyes, the crown jewel of Top Rank Promotions, the reason why Arum would fly thousands of miles from America to the Philippines many times over just to get a document signed, sealed and delivered. Pacquiao raked in millions for Arum including some of the biggest fights in history during the last 10 years or so, like the epic Pacquiao Vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. mega-fight.


Editor's Note: Winchell Campos is the official biographer of Manny Pacquiao. He is authoring "Pacquiao," the real-life story of the only eight-weight division boxing champion.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Winchell Campos.

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