Bouts from different eras can't be ranked: Arum
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Next week's fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is expected to be the most lucrative ever in boxing but that does not necessarily make it the biggest of all time, veteran promoter Bob Arum told Reuters.
The heavily anticipated megabout in Las Vegas on May 2 is projected to become the sport's top-grossing showdown, pulling in close to $500 million in pay-per-view, but Arum says it is impossible to rank contests from different eras.
"It's different," the 83-year-old Hall of Fame member told Reuters in a recent interview while his boxer, Filipino southpaw Pacquiao, was preparing for yet another sparring session at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.
"You can't compare fights, you can't even compare the great fights that took place in the eighties with (Sugar Ray) Leonard and (Marvin) Hagler and (Thomas) Hearns and (Roberto) Duran.
"They were all big, major, monster events but they're different. We didn't have pay-per-view then, and we didn't have any social media then. You can't compare fights in different eras because the communications change so much."
Arum has worked with giants of the ring such as Muhammad Ali, Leonard, Hagler and Duran, and he became one of boxing's most influential figures in the 1980s, along with fellow promoter and long-time rival Don King.
During that decade, Arum organized superfights between Hagler and Duran followed by Hagler and Hearns, and went on to pit Hagler against Leonard, Leonard against Hearns in a re-match and Evander Holyfield against George Foreman.