Arum and Koncz meeting on Saturday to decide Pacquiao’s April opponent
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum will sit down with Michael Koncz, Manny Pacquiao’s adviser, this Saturday to go over the two names – Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov – on Arum’s list of potential opponents for Pacquiao’s April 12th fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. The opponent will be picked out at that time, and there will likely be a announcement coming shortly after that. Arum can’t wait too much longer to make the announcement if he wants to keep the fight from doing as poorly as Pacquiao’s last fight in pay-per-view sales.
We’re not talking about Pacquiao facing a major star like Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Juan Manuel Marquez for April 12th. It’ll be Bradley or Provodnikov, and to be honest, Pacquiao and Arum will be lucky if this fight even hits 500,000 PPV buys. Hardcore fans and fans of Pacquiao will be pleased with either of these guys, but unfortunately casual fans, the ones who make up most of the PPV sales, probably won’t eager to pay to see Pacquiao fight Bradley again in high numbers or see him fight Ruslan Provodnikov.
The Russian guy is a good fighter, to be sure. But Provodnikov is not well known in the U.S., and he’s not had enough fights on HBO for a long enough period for him to be well known.
There’s going to be problems no matter which guy Koncz and Arum pick out for Pacquiao. Bradley’s unbeaten, but many people who saw his previous win over Pacquiao feel that he was given a gift decision. Bradley’s fighting style tends to be on the boring side with the exception of his fight against Provodnikov last year in which Bradley chose to slug with him during a portion of the bout. Bradley ended up with a concussion and was knocked down once in winning a 12 round decision. Bradley will not fight Pacquiao like that. He’ll go back to his running style that he used to beat him in 2012, and the fight will likely be boring. It’s not an interesting fight, and I’m sure Arum realizes this. Boxing fans didn’t purchase the Pacquiao-Bradley fight in high numbers 2 years ago, and it’s doubtful that they’ll want a second helping of it now they saw what a bad fight it was before.
Arum really shouldn’t even bother with matching Pacquiao back with Bradley. He already knows the fight was a stinker the first time around, so he should move on and either match him with Provodnikov or fight someone outside of Top Rank if he doesn’t have the horses to match against Pacquiao.