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Arum denies giving Pacquiao cold treatment

Manny Pacquiao

By Jim Dower: Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum denies giving him “cold treatment” following his loss to Jeff Horn last Saturday night in Brisbane, Australia. Arum says he’s friendly with Pacquiao, and he doesn’t know how the talk of him being cold got started.

Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight title to Horn in losing a 12 round unanimous decision at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

According to the Manila Times, Aquiles Zonio, Pacquiao’s media relations head, said that Arum had given “cold treatment” during the fight with Jeff Horn.

Pacquiao is supposedly still under contract with Top Rank. There’s talk that the contract goes into 2018. So, if there’s going to be a rematch between Pacquiao and Horn, it’ll be Arum that arranges it.

“You know these people can be very vicious. I mean, I am as warm as close with Manny (Pacquiao) and to his wife Jinkee as ever been and we even had a lot of talks,” Arum said to The Manila Times. “Who is this guy (Zonio)? I don’t know him and I don’t see him, I don’t know who he is? Of course, it’s not true.”

Some boxing fans noticed that Arum wasn’t making a fuss about the controversial decision that Pacquiao lost to Horn. Arum did say that that Pacquiao had won the fight, but he didn’t think the judges and the referee did a bad job in the fight. He saw it as a bout that could have gone either way. Arum thinks the crowd noise might have influenced the scoring of the fight.

“I thought Jeff, watching it, had gotten off to a big lead, and then Manny came back, and Jeff did well at the end,” said Arum. “That’s how it was. It was like an Ali-Frazier fight.”

Arum says he wants to give the 38-year-old Pacquiao a couple weeks to recover from his fight before he goes to the Philippines to discuss putting together a rematch with Horn. The second fight will once again be staged in Australia, but with a separate set of judges and a different referee.

Pacquiao was pretty well worked over by Horn with him using different roughhouse tactics to gain an edge. Horn seemed to have the best luck with ramming the crown of his head into the face of Pacquiao. That one worked well for the Australia. He cut Pacquiao twice, causing lacerations that bled most of the fight. Horn also did a lot of holding and hitting, as well as putting Pacquiao in headlocks.

The referee Mark Nelson stood and watched, but did nothing to stop Horn from using these tactics. The fight was like an old school brawl where the referee is does small tasks like picking up mouth pieces when knocked out, and making sure tape on the gloves doesn’t come loose.

“I will probably talk to Manny a week or two weeks from now. I will wait for his body to heal. Maybe I will go there in Manila and General Santos and talk face to face with him,” Arum said. “So I will know whatever decision he’s going to make. (I hope) it is an intelligent decision.”

How would it not be an intelligent decision? If Pacquiao wants to retire, I’d say it’s an intelligent decision. He’ll likely have decided that his job in the senate in the Philippines is too much of a time drain. If Pacquiao doesn’t want to fight again, it would be a smart decision. He’s been fighting for 22 years as a pro. He’s 38-year-old.

If Pacquiao chooses to fight on and face Horn in a rematch, then that’s a good idea too. I don’t know if it would be a good idea to fight him in Australia again. If that’s where the most money is for Pacquiao, then he needs to factor that in. It would probably be a better idea for Pacquiao to fight Horn outside of Australia though. If Pacquiao gives Horn home advantage again, there’s a possibility that he could find himself in the same spot the next time he fights him.

The only way for Pacquiao to be sure is if he knocks Horn out. Pacquiao didn’t make the right adjustments. His trainer Freddie Roach should have been telling him from round 2 that he needed to beat Horn with a high-volume attack instead of the single pot shots that he was throwing.

Pacquiao was fighting more like Floyd Mayweather Jr. than the Pacquiao that stopped Oscar De La Hoya, and beat Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey. Pacquiao defeated those guys with volume attacks. That’s the style worked the best for Pacquiao. He went away from it though after his win over Antonio Margarito. It looked like Roach and assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez were thinking on their feet in Pacquiao’s corner. There was a lot of barking going on, but they all looked panicked. With as much time Roach and Buboy have had in working the corner of Pacquiao, they should have known what would work and what wouldn’t work. They just seemed lost. Maybe Roach has lost his ability to coach. It didn’t look like the Roach that we once knew.




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