SPORTS KEN: Did Arum have a hand in Pacquiao loss?

Do promoters have a say in the outcome of boxing matches they put up and promote? Can they influence the decision of ring judges one way or the other?

These questions are being asked in the light of recent revelations issued by Winchell Campos on his personal FB wall.

Campos, a sportswriter-publicist and close aide of the Pacman, bared that the reason why initial negotiations with Horn bogged down was because Bob Arum demanded that he be given a 20 percent share of the “Battle of Brisbane” proceeds, 50% to his Australian counterpart and only 30% to the Pambansang Kamao.

Yes. THIRTY PERCENT.

In the Mayweather encounter, our boxing hero got forty percent.

Considering that Manny Pacquiao is the main attraction, the 30% share Arum was giving his protege was an insult to the former’s status, not only as the defending WBO welterweight titleholder, but also as the only 8-division world champion. He was the principal draw, the marquee star.

Campos said Manny balked at Arum’s proposal. Campos said Pacquiao instructed his boys to scout around. That was the time when Amir Khan came into the picture and press releases afterwards said they were close to signing a deal with London as the site.

Campos said, with the Khan arrangements slowly making headway, Arum made a 180-degree turn. And so, we suddenly read in the papers that the Khan deal was off. Jeff Horn, to my eternal surprise, reappeared in the sports pages, leading to the signing and sealing of the fight contract with the southpaw titleholder.

Campos said the senator did not want Arum hurt by scathing attacks from the sportsmedia because “matanda na siya…hayaan na lang natin siya.” Pacquiao takes the elder Arum as his surrogate father and being a grateful person, Manny dare not even utter unflattering remarks against his promoter.

During the post-fight press conference, Arum said that Pacquiao’s tedious senate job came in the way of the Filipino fighter’s spartan preparation. The implication of Arum’s assessment seemed to point out that the Pacman did not fully train for the Horn assignment because of overconfidence. Thus, Pacquiao underestimated the Aussie challenger.

Now help me piece the jigsaw puzzle.

Manny’s contract with Top Rank, Inc. (owned by Arum) ended with the Horn bout. He is, therefore, free as a bird to negotiate by himself the rematch with his Aussie conqueror as stipulated in the Horn contract.

I personally suggested to Pacquiao exactly this during a media gathering in his GenSan mansion two weeks before he and his entourage enplaned for Brisbane.

Manny said he trusts Arum so much that he will leave it to the Top rank honcho to handle the matter.

Hopefully, as revelations by Campos have been making the rounds in the sports community and in the social media, Pacquiao might just have a change of heart and mind.

I have this inquisitive and naughty sense that somehow, a hocus-pocus occurred during the Horn – Pacquiao decision-making time while the judges were calculating their individual scorecards.

Somehow, as the sporting world threw curses and cussing words against the ring judges and the referee, there is this sneaking suspicion that an influential personality did a Mandrake-like trick to favor Horn.

Never will I be convinced that the roughhousing challenger earned his title honestly and on his own merits.

Jeff Horn is not in Manny Pacquiao’s exclusive league.

Again, I ask: would you entertain the thought that somebody influential within could have dictated what the results should be? What is your take on the first Pacquiao-Bradley match that also ended in a highly controversial loss to our sports hero? They had a common promoter in Bob Arum, fyi.

I know you know that this is not the first and only time that bad decisions have happened. Syndicates like the Mafia have often been pointed to as architects of bum decisions because they rake in millions as they manipulate results in favor of the underdog.

The loss to Horn inevitably dampens and demotes the status of Pacquiao as a fighter of note and likewise decreases his global ring appeal and attraction. (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) John 1:1. GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!

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