Veteran promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said that Manny Pacquiao is not worried about Floyd Mayweather’s supposed hometown advantage when the two boxers meet on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Many boxing fans believe that the judges would favor Mayweather, a Las Vegas native, if the fight went the distance.
“He [Manny] doesn’t give any attention to it [officiating]because his main priority is to train,” Arum told The Manila Times on Monday in a phone interview. “But I’m hopeful they (Nevada Athletic Commission) will choose the best of the best referee and judges to officiate the fight.”
“I still don’t know who the judges are and who the referee is. We will know it two weeks from now.”
Pacquiao’s nemesis Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez earlier expressed concern that Mayweather would win over Pacquiao if their much-awaited fight goes to the judges’ scorecards.
In an interview by Golpe y Golpe in February, Marquez said: “He [Pacquiao] needs to go for the knockout. In Vegas, the judges are going to favor Mayweather if a fight goes to a decision.”
Marquez’s trainer Ignacio Beristáin holds the same opinion. A translation of Beristáin’s interview with fighthype.com reads: “I think because of the means he has and because he’s an excellent boxer that’s American, I believe he’s also the promoter… the public is American, and so are the judges, so in a close fight, it’s probable they will be inclined to go with him like they have other times.”
Pacquiao’s split decision loss against Timothy Bradley in June 2012 was said to be the result of unfair judging. He lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt in that fight.
Despite the beating absorbed by the American, Las Vegas judges Duane Ford and CJ Ross favored Bradley 115-113. The third judge Jerry Roth favored Pacquiao 115-113.
Pacquiao won the title back by beating Bradley via unanimous decision in a rematch on April 2014.
Arum said that he’s happy the way Pacman’s preparation is going, “Pacquiao is definitely in his best shape when I visited him last week. He moves faster, moves forward and fights in different angles during his sparring sessions. I really like what I saw. Coach Freddie [Roach] and Team Pacquiao are doing a wonderful job.”
Arum added that he sees Pacquiao dominating Mayweather in every round, “Coach Freddie provides the best sparring mates for Manny who are also fast, strong and young. I believe Manny will win round by round against Floyd. I have no doubt about it.”