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Alliance between Arum, Pacquiao remains strong

By Nick Giongco

FRESNO, California – The relationship between Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao remains strong as ever despite Top Rank’s minor role in the Filipino great’s July 15 crack at Lucas Matthysse’s world welterweight crown in Malaysia.

“We are still very friendly,” Arum, 86, told a group of Manila-based reporters who are in town for the historic Jerwin Ancajas vs Jonas Sultan world super-flyweight title clash this Saturday at the Save Mart Center.

“We agreed to distribute the fight in the US…all I know is we are going to do the pay-per-view (telecast) and closed circuit,” said Arum on Thursday at the Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company in the downtown area.

The show was formally launched last April in Manila and a stop in Kuala Lumpur followed to put in motion the first mega event in Malaysia since 1975 when Muhammad Ali fought there.

Pacquiao’s MP Promotions is spearheading the slugfest in coordination with Golden Boy Promotions of Oscar De La Hoya, who handles the affairs of Matthysse.

Arum said a hefty amount is on its way to the US to reinforce the promotional side of the card that will also feature three other world championship matches.

“Manny told (Pacquiao adviser) Michael Koncz that the money will be here at the end of the week,” said Arum, whose promotional relationship with the 39-year-old fighting senator began more than 12 years ago.

Financiers from Malaysia are bankrolling the event that will be staged at the 14,500-capacity Axiata Arena.