By Reni M. Valenzuela
Here we go again.
The Arum fight options have nothing to do with what is good for the fans, what is ideal for the sport and what could even be beneficial to the boxing career of an iconic prized ward, but obviously what is best for the Pacquiao handler’s pockets. For the wackiest part of boxing today, it’s not “styles make fights” which is the guiding motto, but “style makes business.”
The joke continues.
What boxing and Manny Pacquiao need is “real challenge” which is chiefly the reason for Pacman’s rise to international phenomenon and the same reason why boxing gained millions of people more added to its fold to take interest in the sport. These happened when a young, poor and skinny Pacquiao, coming from “nowhere,” beat seemingly insurmountable odds beyond expectations as the world watched in awe. Pacquiao successfully climbed up from one weight division to another to conquer stars, legends and giants by way of spectacular knock out victories from Sasakul to Ledhwaba up to Barrera and Dela Hoya, Hatton and Cotto at that time.
Challenges that would make people hold their breath and cause their pulse to thump hard and fast in mountain peak-level suspense, as they hang in the summit air anticipating the day to witness the actual fight. They are the kind of challenges that serve as boosters to boxing. Bob Arum and Pacquiao’s managers have since gone wild depriving Pacquiao of those challenges. Therefore they may have actually been destroying Pacquiao and boxing in favor of their own “scripted agenda” as well as to protect their turf solidly entrenched within their respective “comfort-zones” being Pacquiao’s “astute” handlers dwelling in “safe-houses.”
Yet the result of the “Oscar-nominated” Pacquiao-Bradley animation may have unquestionably proven the producers to be far from being “astute,” after all, because the Pacquiao-Bradley numbers as shown in the “actual” PPV buys and earnings they hastily announced are way below than expected or projected especially by Top Rank and Arum himself. Note that Arum picked Bradley to fight Pacquiao mainly on account of Bradley being an American, believing that the American people are the biggest “market” in the “boxing industry.” Indeed he was “right.” But Bob was wrong in assuming that majority of the American boxing fans are childish if not foolish enough to take whatever he offers. Hence Arum’s “happy” disappointment in the Pacquiao-Bradley PPV numbers. They even had to sell the MGM Nevada tickets at a discounted price few days to fight night. Arum and company must have greatly regretted why they didn’t match Pacman versus Tom Hanks instead, “pocket-wise.”
Without real challenges, it would do well for boxing and Pacquiao that Pacquiao retires soonest.
Arum giving Pacquiao his options in Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez is again Arum’s style of purely doing business in boxing. The silly options are boxed in a way not only to timely manipulate Pacquiao during a recent meeting between the compatible duo to flesh out the next bout for the often “innocent-looking” People’s Champion.
Arum though does not have Pacquiao and boxing vital and basic in his heart. It always appears incumbent upon him, no matter what the world would think and say, that he does things in boxing with the end in mind, first and foremost, to best serve his own interests to the max in every way possible; that he always makes sure such would be the “scenario” every time.
Tim Bradley is again in Arum’s radar as topmost choice to be the next opponent for Pacquiao. But Arum knows that the second Bradley fight could not be an immediate “possibility” due to the world’s disgust over the June 9 drama and resistance to the idea at the moment. Thus Arum has to put in Marquez as one of the options. But then again since Arum knows that Pacquiao is much more inclined to choose Bradley over Marquez for reasons only known to Pacquiao and his camp as Pacman indicated in his recent pronouncements insinuating he wanted Bradley in November. So there floats the only “option” left whom Arum is very much aware would be problem-fee for Pacquiao to agree to fight next given the present circumstances.
Arum is just being too shy to reveal the real three “astute” and “reasonable” options he wanted for Pacquiao in November, namely: Cotto, Cotto and Cotto. Why is that so? And why the Pacquiao-Cotto II need not materialize? Everyone could competently tell why except the Joker from a kid’s tale. This is exactly where the road leads if the rushing flows persist unabated: The Pacquiao-Cotto II in November this year. And one probable “pocket-wise” reason for the bout could be tightly connected to strengthening Arum’s bargaining position with the Mayweather camp after the unsatisfactory “numbers” result of the Pacquiao-Bradley farce. This is again as if Arum holds the future and he has the world in the palm of his hands.
I write about boxing not as a profession. Every article is written as the inspiration comes and as the Spirit leads. I don’t even know until when a Reni Valenzuela would stay as a boxing writer. So If I still have another piece coming up, I wish to name the three ideal, exciting and marketable opponents for Pacquiao other than Mayweather and Marquez (Bradley excluded, of course) just as I wish to enumerate a number of steps for the people, the boxing community and government to take, in order to put the sport back to earth, alive and kicking in the truest sense of the word.
The gut feel is strong that the mega bout is highly possible to take place in November as true blue sports aficionados may discern that both fighters (sans promoters) are likely most open at this time to make the necessary concessions and compromise to reach a total agreement. Everything could be easier to thresh out in order for this generation’s best pound-for-pound fighters to finally dance and freely showcase each other’s unique opposing moves inside the same squared circle. And before an unprecedented number of people all over the world who are eager to watch them collide head on to the high metal rock and roll tune of Michael’s “Let’s get ready to rumble!”
But is it any wonder why until now the “astute” promoter remains adversely adamant to make the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight? Arum has just reiterated that it is not possible for Pacquiao to fight Mayweather this coming November, as it always seems to be the situation with Arum any month of the year except perhaps on days or months beyond December 31 but before January 1. Arum promises anew, “possibly in 2013,” yet only to keep the world hungering and hovering in space forever and ever, and never.
A person who believes “nothing is impossible” about things that would do good just to himself is a person for whom nothing could ever be possible just about anything which would benefit and serve a bigger world and that which is beyond the concerns of his own little “kingdom.”
To some of us, it’s clearly a call to grow up to reach down.
No other options.