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By Reni M. Valenzuela: Sponge Bob is square and just a cartoon character, but the man is obviously possessed, sufficiently enough and perfectly shaped to absorb an entire Pacific Ocean. Top Rank honcho Bob Arum has achieved so much but against boxing as a game of competition. Arum’s immense contributions are to himself and his own interests.

What if Arum is involved in other businesses but boxing?

Manny Pacquiao could have been greater. Floyd Mayweather Jr. could have been better as a person and champion who fought more often. Nonito Donaire could be a big draw in pay-per-view by this time or in the future. Boxing could have been more exciting. The Floyd-Pac mega bout could have happened a long time ago. The anticipated Donaire-Mares can be easily made. The fans could have been served well.

And, who knows? The whole world could be enjoying the Pacquiao-Mayweather for the third time by the coming months instead of being constrained to bear upon the boring and never-ending twilight saga of Pacman vs. “Dinamita.”

Self-indulgence is very much around, rearing its ugly head in sports major events or boxing “cannibal” shows. The “astute” promoter continues directing and dictating on everybody else but himself, his ego and his pocket.

Bob and Oscar Dela Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions enjoy biting and eating each other up. It’s been almost a decade that they don’t see eye-to-eye. Otherwise, things could have been a lot different for boxing as a sport. The “cold war” between the two is the reason why great fights never happened and great fights will never ever happen, so we rightly conclude.

Notwithstanding recent “conflicting” claims from both camps, the fact is Arum is settled to have Nonito Donaire fight someone else other than Abner Mares in April or in any month of any year for the bitter grudge of Dela Hoya or perhaps for fear of competition that Mares may bring against his rising star. The “king” is doggedly resolute to producing safe matchups between fighters that would come only from his own stable. He can be as mindless and indifferent as he can to everything that is right and logical for as long as he knows he will be assured to produce grandiose returns or ROI. Such terrible language to speak.

With Arum’s rejection of Dela Hoya’s offer/gesture to make the Donaire-Mares, it’s getting clearer where the root of the problem lies and who to blame in the fracas that occasionally beleaguers boxing. And the sport is getting closer to the key spot or has probably arrived at the wisest possible resolution of the problem that may serve to be a healing balm for one of boxing’s lingering diseases

– by rejecting Top Rank ”in-house” fights from 2013 onwards until Arum makes amends of his waywardness.

How come the boxing community has allowed itself to be “toyed” for so long in a PS3 game where only one “astute” person steers the remote control.

For the boxing enthusiasts who are guided by principles and who have concern for the sport, the Rios-Alvarado rematch next month, being a Top Rank “in-house” fight, shouldn’t matter much even if it is a fair match-up. For the well being of the sport, the Rios-Alvarado or any earlier “in-house” productions of Top Rank could be an ideal starting point of sending a message to a self-contained boxing bigwig in a way that he can understand, inconsiderate of however he spins his oiled “promotional” machinery.

Talk now to Arum through this means for he would likely be open to listen to what you have to say unless he’s an Egyptian Pharaoh with chained “cohorts” and blind-folded “chariots” during Moses’ time. Be heard.

No doctor would dare do anything that would prolong the patient’s agony. One would either be looking forward to the “in-house fight” for fleeting few minutes of pleasure or looking forward to healing the sport for a meaningful change that may benefit even the coming generations.

Bullheadedness is typically ancient among barbarians which attribute should have no place in modern civilized societies. Arum seems meek on the outside, but he’s iron-like stubborn and compacted in the inside.

“Self-love” is anathema to happiness especially during this love-month of February. It’s absolutely Arum’s call. Time to reflect and “soul-search” for the proud Harvard- man of boxing. Arum should be waging a constant battle against his fiercest enemy (himself) instead of trading barbs with Dela Hoya from time to time.

Bob needs to beat his insecurities. He can and should make the Mayweather-Pacquiao a reality soon and other great fights on the horizon in partnership with Golden Boy regardless of hubris and “high-mindedness.” It is admirable that Arum is still very active at 81, but hope that when he leaves boxing, he leaves the world with a legacy that would put a smile on the face of a healthy happy sport, grateful to a promoter who humbled himself to do his best for the good of all.

My respect goes to Arum as an elderly man and boxing veteran, but may he walk the path that leads to his immortalization and true honor, without offense to the fans.

Love yourself. Then try loving others just the same.

You can.

Happy Valentine!

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