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Bob Arum sounds alarm over JuanMa’s debacle

By ALEX P. VIDAL / PNS
April 21, 2011

If a disaster could happen to the most feared fighter in the world next to Manny Pacquiao, it could also happen to anyone in fight business – even to Pacquiao and Sugar Shane Mosley.

Puerto Rico’s former WBO 125-lb king Juan Manuel Lopez (30-1, 27 KOs) was brutally mangled by a challenger with a “ridiculous” record because of distractions in his life, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum justified.

Arum pointed to the “distractions in both his public life and personal life” which affected Lopez’s performance.

Mexico’s Orlando Salido, who reported in the championship title bout last April 16 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico with 11 losses, finished off Lopez with 1:39 left in the 8th stanza of the 12-round title clash.

Salido, who first decked Lopez with a right to the jaw in the fifth round, added the once highly touted Lopez to his 34 previous victims and listed the fast Puerto Rican as his 23rd stoppage casualty.

Namesake

The big win was Salido’s best since losing on Sept. 18, 2004 by unanimous decision to Lopez’s namesake Juan Manuel Marquez for the WBA/IBF featherweight titles in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Distraction was the word once coined by Freddie Roach when he noticed politicians and hangers-on milling around Pacquiao in the boxer’s training camps in the Philippines and the United States.

Even Arum had once expressed concern for the big crowd in the Filipino fighter’s training environment and has made it a necessity to make ocular visits to check the progress of his ward’s condition.

To stay away from distractions, Team Pacquiao relocated to Baguio City, venue of his recent two-month training in preparation for his May 7 rumble against Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The training camp in the high altitude Philippine summer capital was inaugurated two years ago when Pacquiao was revving up for his WBO welterweight encounter with Miguel Angel Cotto, Lopez’s compatriot.

Outside P.R.

“The distractions did the job,” Arum told The Sport Press’ Rey Colon. “Look at Miguel Cotto, who has never been better since he left to train outside of Puerto Rico. And he doesn’t get out of shape between fights. That’s what happened to this guy….he was overweight. He was like 180 or 190 pounds when he was in the Philippines (for Manny Pacquiao's birthday party in December).

“And I know that personal problems affected this boy. Boxing is a serious business and you have to be in great physical condition between fights, you have to have the best life between fights, and when you have training camp for a fight, like Cotto, you should leave the island.”