LAS VEGAS (AFP) – Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley faced off in the final press conference for their welterweight world title rematch on Saturday, but it was promoter Bob Arum providing the fireworks.
Arum thought there was far too much Floyd Mayweather in evidence at the MGM Grand, where signs and banners promoting Pacquiao-Bradley 2 were side-by-side with materials advertising Mayweather’s May 3 fight against Argentinian Marcos Maidana.
Arum introduced Richard Sturm, President of MGM Grand Entertainment and Sports, as “the president of hanging posters and decorations for the wrong fight”.
Sturm sidestepped the criticism, but he was still sitting next to the podium when Arum closed the press conference at the MGM’s Hollywood Theater with another blast at the venue.
“In the Venetian they wouldn’t make a mistake like this,” said Arum, the founder and chief executive of Top Rank Promotions who staged Pacquiao’s 2013 bout against American Brandon Rios at the Venetian hotel-resort in the casino haven of Macau.
“They knew what fight was scheduled in three or four days and they wouldn’t have a 12-1 fight all over the building that’s going to take place three weeks from next Saturday,” Arum said.
“But that’s why one company makes a billion dollars a quarter and the other hustles to pay its debt,” he added.
The broadside from the 82-year-old Arum was a sharp contrast to the restrained comments from Saturday’s combatants, even though both Pacquiao and Bradley have said they have plenty to prove.