Bob Arum with Manny Pacquiao
HOUSTON – Bob Arum, who’s like a father to Manny Pacquiao, must have felt better after he received a text message from the Philippines saying his favorite boxer is in the swing of things.
“Manny I understand is in great spirits,” said the ageless promoter at the backstage during Friday’s official weigh-in for the Nonito Donaire Jr. vs Jorge Arce title fight.
Arum said he received word from Pacquiao’s chief adviser, Mike Koncz, that the boxer who just suffered a devastating knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez is doing well.
“Manny had an MRI and the doctor who did it was surprised how clean his brain was. He said it was pristine,” said Arum with a great sigh of relief.
Pacquiao was knocked out cold by Marquez in the sixth round at the MGM, and lay unconscious on the canvas for over a minute.
After the fight, Pacquiao was taken straight to the University of Medical Center in Las Vegas for precautionary tests and a CT scan.
Pacquiao missed the post-fight press conference at the MGM but before the night was over had issued a statement saying, “I’m fine.”
The tests in Vegas were negative as well as the MRI test the boxer had at the Cardinal Santos Hospital a day after Pacquiao returned home from Los Angeles.
“It’s a big doctor in the Philippines who performed the tests. But when he comes over here I’m having him re-tested here in the United States,” said Arum.
He wants Pacquiao to undergo a more extensive brain check at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas. Only when he is cleared by the $100 million brain center in Vegas will Arum start talking to Pacquiao about a next fight.
Arum said he will shoulder all the expenses when Pacquiao is tested in Vegas.
As a result of the knockout, Pacquiao is under suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission for 120 days, the first 90 days of which the boxer should stay away from any boxing-related activity.
“That was good news,” said Arum of the latest word from the Philippines.
Arum also extended his birthday greetings to Pacquiao who’s celebrating his 34th on Dec. 17 with a big bash in General Santos City.
“I wish him a happy birthday and I’m sorry I won’t be able to be there because I’m promoting this fight here now,” said Arum.
“And that next year he will be hopefully in the ring a lot better than this year was,” said the chief of Top Rank Promotions.
Arum turned 81 on the day Pacquiao fought Marquez.
“We (Pacquiao) are fellow Sagittarians,” he added.
Of course, Pacquiao knows.