Boxing promoter Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank, speaks during a boxing news conference at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada April 9, 2014. Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines will challenge undefeated WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley of the U.S. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 12. The fight is a rematch of a June 9, 2012 fight that Bradley won. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BOXING) April 9, 2014
The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, venue of two major boxing bouts in the next few days and weeks, got the ire of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum on Wednesday. The reason for Arum's pre-fight rant is the giving by the venue organisers of higher priority to the promotion of the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana on May 3 over the Manny Pacquia-Timothy Bradley rematch on Saturday, April 12.
On Wednesday, Arum had lunch at MGM Grand Hotel where the MGM Grand Arena is located and found a 20-storey mural of Money May on the building's side. There were also three-sided hanging signs spread all over the casino, with two sides promoting the May 3 event and one side the Saturday rematch.
Although a top MGM entertainment executive whom Arum met after lunch apologised for the number of Mayweather-Maidana fight posters when the bout is one month away and admitted it was not appropriate, the 82-year-old boxing promoter let steam off further during the press conference for the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch.
He introduced Richard Sturm, president of MGM for entertainment, as "the president of hanging the posters for the wrong fight."
Sturm did not shoot back at Arum but instead spoke about the greatness of the two boxers, although he wisely did not mention the name of Mayweather.
But Arum had the last word by comparing MGM Grand with the Venetian hotel which he said earns $500 million per quarter. Venetian's owner, Sheldon Adelson, is Arum's business partner. By promoting the Venetian's Macao Casino as boxing fight venues, Arum's Top Rank Promotions would also earn.
Arum believes the heavier promotion for the Mayweather-Maidana bout is because of the 12-1 odds in favour of Money May, while the Saturday rematch has only a 2-1 odds in favour of Pacquiao.
"I know that in the Venetian, they wouldn't make a mistake like this. They knew what fight they were scheduled, three or four days, and they wouldn't have a 12-to-1 fight all over the building, that's going to take place three weeks from next Saturday," Bad Left Hook quoted Arum.