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December 20, 2014

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Fight snapshot: Arum takes a pot shot during Pacquiao training

This happened during a Manny Pacquiao training session at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., where Pacquiao was preparing for his welterweight title fight Saturday against Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand.

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, was holding court. He was about to launch into one of his innumerable anecdotes from his storied career in the boxing business.

This one, although we never got to hear the whole thing, evidently took place in the early 1970s, when Arum was living in New York City.

"I'm sitting in my apartment and the phone rings," Arum was saying. "Now, just before the phone rang, I had just finished rolling a joint ..."

Whoa. That line drew the attention of a publicist for the fight, who interrupted to declare the statement "off the record," unfit for use in print, on video, in blogs, or anywhere else.

Arum overruled him, though.

"So what? They can use it however they want to use it," Arum growled later. "Big deal. So I smoked some grass 35 or 40 years ago.

"Who cares?"

Indeed, for my money the only shocking or newsworthy part of the whole affair is that, in 2009, someone still uses the decidedly retro slang term "grass."

There's no truth to the rumor that Arum also predicted a far out and groovy performance from Pacquiao in the ring.

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