By Don Donatello
“Yesterday I was lying. Today I am telling the truth.” Bob Arum
A tiger can not change its’ stripes. Bob Arum is the biggest boxing promoter of Championship boxing on the planet, bar none. He has been around boxing since the 1960s. He is a Harvard educated lawyer. And that is Bob Arum.
In any industry, no person or entity at the very top gets there by playing it straight. Toes are going to be stepped on and feathers ruffled. Evading, lying and telling half truths are just a few tools of the trade. Welcome to the world of the very rich and very powerful.
After over 40 years in the boxing promoting business, I’m sure Bob Arum has found a few formulas that work very well for him. One could be to take care of his cash cow so the cash cow will take care of him. And he might have adopted the belief of the richest man in the history of mankind, John D. Rockefeller, that competition is not good for his bottom line. And he probably knows that he is a lot smarter than any one of his fighters. So why would Bob do business with his competition, Golden Boy Promotions, if he doesn’t have to.
Do you think Bob will get Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao together in their next fight? Ask yourselves, will that fight make more money now, or will it make more money later? This fight is happening later rather than sooner. Arum holds all of the cards, he will decide who, what, and when a fight will happen.
Pacquiao and Marquez are both getting old and likely have a year or two left in their career. Bob is already paving the grounds for one of his potential cash cow, Timothy Bradley. Pitting Marquez against Bradley is a win-win situation for Arum. There would be nothing better for Bob if the Bradley/Marquez fights ends up in a controversial decision. A controversial decision leaves both fighters’ prior marketability intact. Neither fighter would be affected negatively in such a scenario. A fight would remain viable and successful against Pacquiao for either Marquez or Bradley. A rematch would also be in the cards should the negotiations hit a snag with Pacquiao and Marquez.
As of now, Top Rank and its’ people are gauging which fight has the most traction. That is why rumors are being floated around. You hear Pacquiao/Alvarado, Pacquiao/Rios, Pacquiao/Bradley, Marquez/Bradley, and Pacquiao/Marquez. But notice that Pacquiao has the most viable scenarios available to him. Marquez has only one money fight outside of Pacquiao, against Bradley.
Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios is the fight that would be the Fight of the Year in my opinion. It would not go past the 4rth round, possibly two rounds at the most. It might even challenge the Tommy Hearns/Marvin Hagler fight as the best few rounds in the history of boxing. I’d buy Rios/Pacquiao but not Alvarado/Pacquiao. Rios/Pacquiao is my horse that runs. Here’s why. Rios could be had for the least amount of money, he just lost to Alvarado. He is also tailor made for Pacquiao, and it is going to be a very exciting and entertaining fight, while it last. And a Mexican at that, Mexicans represent the biggest group of boxing fans.
Bradley prefers to fight Marquez because he thinks he has a better chance of beating Marquez than Pacquiao. In virtually everyone’s eyes, Bradley has already loss to Pacquiao in their fight. I’m sure Bradley knows he lost to Pacquiao, but it negatively affects his marketability in his admittance of it. Besides, Bradley can get a rematch against Pacquiao if he does beat Marquez, and the money would be a lot more than what Pacquiao is offering Bradley now.
Follow the money, because business is about making money. Boxing is a business, and as a sport a distant second.
For Marquez/Pacquiao V to happen before any other fight, Marquez will have to lower his asking price. He was asking for a 50/50 split or 20 million dollars. He knows he is not getting that. There is word that he was offered $17 million by Pacquiao. Marquez does not draw his share of fans to the table to get a split or 20 million, not even 17 million. Marquez will prove to himself that he cannot draw without Pacquiao if he fights Bradley and won’t even reach half of the PPV buys in his previous fight with Pacquiao.
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