Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley in the ring, Floyd Mayweather in jail, the whole world in shock, Dana White in hysterics, and Bob Arum in the money. Saturday June 9th will go down in history as one of the most talked about decisions and biggest controversies in the history of boxing. I was shocked that the decision went the way it did, and yet, I was far from shocked that there was controversy surrounding it.
I have said for many, many years that when it comes to the mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, the one man who has never wanted the fight is Bob Arum. The outcome of Pacquiao’s last fight surely suggests that even more. Forget about the world-wide war between the Pacquiao fans and the Mayweather fans that’s been going on for the past 3 years. Whatever corner you are in, the fact remains that Pacquiao was on the short end of a bad decision, which means a showdown with Mayweather may never happen now, or at the very least, has been pushed back for another year. Given that fact, Bob Arum must be rubbing his hands together with delight, and here are the top 5 reasons why.
1. Controversy Sells
For the moral high ground of a competitor and boxing fan, controversy like this absolutely stinks, but for businessmen, it is the ideal scenario. This “robbery” will be spoken about for many years to come. In the short term, it is a great promotional tool for any promoter to base a promotion on. Will there be a rematch? Absolutely! Will it sell? Absolutely! Will it generate more money than the first fight? ABSOLUTELY!
2. Alex Ariza’s Role
It has been well documented that Bob Arum and Alex Ariza do not see eye to eye, having very public arguments over a number of issues. Ariza’s role has been questioned in recent weeks by Roach, and in the past, Arum has made no secret about his disapproval of Ariza and his work. Isn’t it ironic that Bradley’s best work came at the end of the fight, where your conditioning really pushes you through to the end? Will Bob Arum use this fact to load up his gun and fire and accusation that Ariza did not prepare Pacquiao properly? Will he suggest that if Manny was in better shape, he could have closed the show in the last few rounds and made sure there was no doubt whatsoever in the eyes of the judges.
3. Top Rank’s Timothy Bradley Stock Has Risen
Rightly or wrongly, Timothy Bradley will be one of the most talked about boxers in the world for the immediate future. Of course, it will be with mixed reaction. Journalists have been desperately wanting to get a story from the man who beat the great Manny Pacquiao, espeically since the vast majorty of fans are referring to him as the man who robbed Manny Pacquiao. All publicity is good publicity, and with Bradley’s relatively low following thus far, this may set him up to embrace the “villain” role and increase his exposure to casual fans. In other words, Top Rank now has their future cash cow, who just so happens to be undefeated with one of the biggest scalps in boxing on his record, generating more money for Top Rank.
4. Marquez The “Money” Man
With it being reported recently that Marquez will indeed be the man standing across the ring from Pacquiao on November 10th, it looks like all the pieces of the puzzle are fitting together nicely for Arum. Manny Pacquiao, despite losing his title and getting an extra loss on his record, has recorded a moral victory because it was apparent to all but two men that Pacquiao won the fight. That means their’s no real immediate demand for a rematch, allowing Arum to convince Pacquiao that Marquez will be the much better option as far as finances are concerned.
5. Pacquiao’s Defeat Prevents the Mayweather Fight From Happening
This, to me, is obvious. I have never doubted that Manny Pacquiao wants the fight or that Floyd Mayweather wants the fight, but there is no question Bob Arum does not want this fight. The controversial ending to Pacquiao vs. Bradley all but ensures that the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight will not be happening any time soon. Don’t get me wrong, a rematch with Bradley is an option further on down the line, as I’m sure Pacquiao will want to avenge the defeat. With the decision going in Bradley’s favour, it gives Bob Arum yet another excuse to avoid putting Pacquiao in the ring with Mayweather. Pacquiao fans may say , “well, why would Arum be happy to see Pacquiao lose to avoid putting him in with Mayweather?” Well, quite simply, 91% of fans think that Pacquiao won that fight, so he gets to retain his dignity despite having to give up his title. In other words, Pacquiao gets the sympathy vote for the robbery. What’s going to damage your stock more? Losing a decision in a fight that you really won or losing in comprehensive fashion to an arch-rival after a 3-year battle? Come on, do the math! Obviously a resounding defeat against a guy [Mayweather] who your promoter really does not like and does not want to see earn big money is the worst possible scenario. If there is any intent in Arum’s head to make the fight, then delaying it as long as he possibly can until Floyd is 37/38 years old seems to be what he is doing in hopes that Mayweather will be a tad bit slower with relfexes that are shot.
People will accuse Arum of having an agenda, and maybe he does; make of it what you will. The fact remains, however, that Marquez vs. Pacquiao, Rios vs Abril, and Bradley vs. Pacquiao are fights that 1) featured Top Rank stars and 2) ended with controversial decisions. If you ask me, I’d say that there’s more to it. For the record, I really admired the way Pacquiao conducted himself after the fight. That is a credit to Manny Pacquiao as a man. Whether or not he has it in him to fly off the handle remains to be seen, but in this case, he surely would have been forgiven it he did do so. I would also like to point out to people that the while the decision was wrong, people should not be blaming Timothy Bradley. It wasn’t his fault, nor was it Pacquiao’s fault.
Arum has proven to be a very shrewd businessman and is thick-skinned. Although many of us do not agree with the way some of his business is done, Arum can maximize his profits with Bradley and Marquez around the Pacquiao name, calling it in as a job done. Even though majority of us will point to the fact that Arum is the major factor preventing the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, Arum will be laughing all the way to the bank.
What are your views? Is there foul play? Does this end the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather showdown? What are your views on Marquez vs. Pacquiao IV? What’s next for Bradley? What are your feelings towards the judges and what do you suspect Arum’s true feelings are?
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