DiBella Erupts: Fires Verbal Bombs at Arum Over Martinez
By Ryan Songalia/Boxing Scene
It appears that just as Bob Arum and his promotional company Top Rank buried the hatchet with their bitter rival Golden Boy Promotions, Arum quickly unearthed the instrument and buried it into cross-country counterpart Lou Dibella.
After Arum's charge Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. defeated game but unknown titleholder Sebastian Zbik Saturday night in Los Angeles, people wanted to know when the son of Culiacan, Mexico's living legend would get busy with the middleweight division's recognized kingpin Sergio Martinez.
Speaking with BoxingScene's Mike Marley, Arum questioned Martinez's worthiness of a Chavez clash, saying "His promoter [Dibella] has to go out and build Martinez," adding that Dibella "has to get off his ass and stop waiting for HBO to build Martinez up."
The issue that has arisen between Top Rank and other promoters who have felt left out of the party as the company continues to keep big fights in-house has beckoned the question of whether promoters have an obligation to not only make money, but to make decisions that benefit the sport as a whole.
In response to the cutting remarks from Arum, the Brooklyn, New York native Dibella neither held his tongue or spared his thoughts.
"My response is that Bob Arum can go f--k himself!," exclaimed Dibella late Sunday evening, who described Arum as a "mean-spirited old man."
"Yesterday Bob was lying, and today he's still lying. That's his M.O., that paraphrases his little saying. I'm sick of sitting there and being criticized by a man whose legacy will be the destruction he did to an industry."
Dibella went on to cite the recent opposition of Top Rank's main horse Manny Pacquiao, all of whom were either under contract to Top Rank or owed options to the company in the event that they won.
"Everyone keeps eating the s--t he's putting out there. Every fighter that is promoted by another promoter or provides any level of competition is not a pay-per-view fighter to him. I guess Arum is the omnipotent determination of who is a pay-per-view fighter.
"So [Joshua] Clottey is a pay-per-view fighter? [Antonio] 'Marga-cheato', who shouldn't be allowed in a boxing ring, is a pay-per-view fighter? Shane Mosley, who just put on one of the worst pay-per-view fights in boxing history, is a pay-per-view fighter?
"Why is it that Sergio Martinez is not a pay-per-view fighter? Because he would school Chavez and destroy him like the fraud he is. Boxing fans aren't so stupid. The first real fighter he throws Chavez in with, he's gonna get his ass kicked."
Martinez, age 36 with a record of 47-2-2 (26 KO), was in attendance at the Chavez Jr. fight, alongside adviser Sampson Lewkowicz. The 25-year-old Chavez Jr. is now 43-0 (30 KO) and in possession of the WBC middleweight title.
Martinez is generally considered the second best fighter in the world after having disposed of Paul Williams in two rounds to earn the Boxing Writers Association of America's Knockout of the Year laurel, and soundly defeating Kelly Pavlik by decision.
Dibella attacked the legitimacy of Chavez's title credentials, hinting at a collusion between Top Rank and HBO in arranging the fight.
"That's a fraudulent title that [Chavez] won. HBO made Martinez give up that title, saying that Zbik was a terrible fighter that would never appear on HBO. Now all of a sudden they allow Chavez and 'Big Bully Bob' to make the fight, and I have to sit there and listen to Arum say that Sergio is not a pay-per-view fighter and I should do a better promoting him?
"By the way, how dare he. Three and a half years ago, no one knew who Sergio Martinez was, and I think I've done a pretty damn good job promoting him."
Dibella did give credit where credit was due, lauding Arum's business sense and ability to generate large sums of money for his fighters and company.
"Make a differentiation between the business of boxing and the sport of boxing. Bob Arum has been a brilliant businessman for boxing, but he's been an atrocity for the sport of boxing.
"All he keeps doing to people is shoving this inferior product down people's throats because he economically controls both sides of the equation and because he can make his profit margins greater, even though in the long run he's helping destroy an industry that he's spent most of his life in.
"He doesn't give a f--k if there's no boxing after Bob Arum."
"I find it ironic that HBO execs were in the room when Bob Arum was attacking me as a promoter, but I've done everything that HBO has asked me to do.
"Look at the last string of fights that Sergio Martinez had, they're fights that were good for boxing, he fought the best opposition out there. He fought everyone that HBO wanted him to fight. Maybe they should look at how HBO is promoting him."
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News and the Filipino Reporter newspaper in New York City.