Top Rank chief Bob Arum insists that his relationship with Floyd Mayweather Jr. remained “extraordinarily cordial” throughout the years of failed attempts to make the pound-for-pound super-fight with Manny Pacquiao.
The great welterweight rivals finally meet in Las Vegas on May 2, five years after Pacquiao was first touted as the man to potentially shatter Mayweather’s imperious unbeaten record.
Mayweather left the Top Rank stable in 2006 after 10 years, setting up his own company and speaking disparagingly of his former promoter Arum.
This apparent breakdown in relations was frequently cited as a reason for Top Rank’s more recent star attraction, Pacquiao, being unable to secure the showdown with Mayweather that the sport demanded.
But Arum told World Boxing News that Top Rank retained a dialogue with Mayweather and he rejected the widely accepted fallout as being stoked by media coverage.
“That was all bullshit,” he said in a phone interview with WBN. “That was the way that the press would ask him questions.
“I met Floyd over the years after he left us and we were always extraordinarily cordial with each other.
“Floyd has always maintained communication with Todd Duboef, who is my stepson and the president of Top Rank.
“All of that was manufactured by the press. There was no animosity with Floyd. There never was – not on our part and, I don’t believe, on his part.”
Despite there being no ill feeling, Arum is happy to predict a painful night for Mayweather at the MGM Grand Garden Arena under Pacquiao’s blurring fists.
He added: “I think [Pacquiao will win] because right now, given their styles and given what age has taken out of them that my guy has the most left and he has the kind of weapons that really will drive Floyd crazy and put him in serious trouble.
“As great a defensive fighter as Floyd is, and a great counter-puncher, I don’t believe that he will pose that much of a challenge for Manny.”
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