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Arum wants Pacquiao-Bradley or Pacquiao-Marquez next

arum33By Chris Williams: While the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios is still a month away and there isn’t a winner yet, their promoter Bob Arum is already looking past the Pacquiao-Rios fight towards Manny’s next fight in 2014.

Arum wants to match Pacquiao up against Tim Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez, according to Dan Rafael. As for Rios, Arum is hoping to match him up against WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov. Arum has an option on Provodnikov for one fight, so he can stick him in with Rios if he loses to Pacquiao.

It doesn’t look like Provodnikov is going to get a shot against Pacquiao for some reason. That could be because Arum might think Provodnikov is too dangerous for Pacquiao or more likely Arum doesn’t want to help build up Provodnikov’s name value considering that he won’t be part of his Top Rank stable after this one fight option is over with. So, Provodnikov would be good enough to fight a beaten Rios coming off of a loss to Pacquiao or a recently beaten Marquez, but not for a fight against Pacquiao.

Rafael said on his twitter:

It seems like Arum is really tipping his hand about who he thinks is going to win the Pacquiao-Rios fight, because he’s not talking about any contingency for who Pacquiao will fight if he loses to Rios. Arum should be talking about a rematch between Pacquiao and Rios in the event that Manny gets knocked cold again because Arum is going to need to have Pacquiao avenge that defeat.

Pacquiao hasn’t gotten a chance to avenge his losses to Bradley or Marquez yet, because neither of those fighters were interested in facing him immediately. But I suspect that Rios would be more than happy to fight Pacquiao in a rematch for the right price. If they bumped up his purse split to a nicer figure, I could see Rios saying yes to a rematch. But Arum will have to sweeten the deal to get Rios to fall into line behind a rematch idea because he’ll have a lot of interesting options besides just Pacquiao for his next fight.

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It’s going to be a real crushing blow to Arum if Pacquiao gets knocked out by Rios next month, because Pacquiao has been his number one money fighter for a number of years, and this would be the third straight defeat for him. Losing twice in a row is one thing, but getting beaten three straight times. That would be a huge blow to Arum and Pacquiao.

The question would then come to mind about whether they could keep selling Pacquiao’s fights on pay-per-view with him losing three straight fights. I guess they could, but you’d have to figure that Pacquiao’s PPV numbers would drop off dramatically at that point. I’m sure there would be some fans that would still be willing to pay to see a fighter that has lost his last three fights, but I know I wouldn’t want to. Even I was a huge fan of a fighter, I wouldn’t want to pay $60 to see a fighter that has lost three straight fights. For me, I would see that fighter as a regular HBO or an ESPN fighter at best.

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