Roach not excited about Bradley-Pacquiao fight
By Jason Kim: Bob Arum has gone to all the trouble to signing WBO light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (27-0, 11 KO’s) to a fight contract with Top Rank Promotions in what many boxing fans see as a prelude to Arum feeding Bradley to his gravy train fighter WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao in early 2012.
But some people are questioning Arum’s wisdom, not seeing it as a wise move if Arum’s goal is to try and create a big PPV fight between Pacquiao and Bradley.
The problem here is Bradley isn’t a big star and probably no more popular than guys like Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito, if that. Arum doesn’t have a lot of time to make Bradley popular unfortunately and is putting him in with an old timer in 40-year-old Joel Casamayor on November 12th on the undercard of Pacquiao – Juan Manuel Marquez.
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, is speaking what many boxing fans are thinking when he said this to RingTV: “Well, Tim Bradley, you’ve got to put him on the undercard to create interest. That’s a good idea. But who is Tim Bradley? Manny Pacquiao is a great draw, but how many people can Bradley draw? Manny Pacquiao?…Is that all they got? Tim Bradley?”
So true; so true. I think Arum really missed the boat on this one. Bradley-Pacquiao wouldn’t bring in big numbers because Bradley doesn’t have a huge following and you can’t build him up to be a fighter that would be compeititve with Pacquiao based on putting him in with an old guy on Pacquiao’s undercard. To make Bradley a good opponent for Pacquiao, Arum would have to let it marinate for at least three years, maybe more with Bradley beating top guys on Arum’s PPV fight cards. Even then, I still would have my doubts that Bradley would bring in huge numbers.
There’s plenty of fighters that are shown on HBO, Showtime and ESPN2 all the time, and yet fail to become stars. It’s not about just saturating the boxing public by cramming the fighters down their throats and they eventually become enamored with them. You got to have talent and need to be an exciting fighter for fans to want to see you over and over again.
It’s like network television. If you’ve got a star that has unattractive looks, you’re not going to make them into a sex sympbol that people want to see by showing them over and over again on television. If they’re ugly, people will just ignore them and focus on the people around them or see them as props, while paying attention to the more interesting people. I think Arum is wasting his time here with Bradley.