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Arum with new strategy to create Pacquiao-Mayweather fight

bradley91By Allan Fox: Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is looking to try and put together a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. if possible. After Pacquiao’s win over WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley last night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Arum suggested that boxing fans boycott Mayweather Jr’s May 3rd unification bout against WBA welterweight champion Marcos Maidana, which will be televised by Showtime from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The idea that Arum has is that if Mayweather’s pay-per-view fight with Maidana does poorly, he’ll be more likely to want to make a fight against Pacquiao sooner rather than later.

“The only people that can make Floyd Mayweather fight Manny is the public,” Arum said at the post-fight press conference last night. “If they boycott the nonsense on May 3. [Mayweather-Maidana]. That’s what the public should do. [If the media] wants that fight, tell the public not to buy pay-per-view and not to buy tickets. There is no other [strategy]. We are prepared tomorrow to sit down at a table with people to work out the conditions for the fight.”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a rival promoter tell fans to boycott a fight before. This is definitely a first. The problem with Arum’s ploy to try and get the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight by asking fans to boycott the fight is the fact that they won’t do it. The Mayweather-Maidana fight is likely to do a lot better on PPV than last night’s Pacquiao-Bradley 2 fight, because Maidana will likely be able to attract a lot of Hispanic fans, and with the fight taking place on Cinco de Mayo weekend, it’s probably going to do very, very well, whether Arum likes it or not.

The Mayweather vs. Maidana card has two big names on the undercard in Amir Khan and Adrien Broner, and the undercard is light years better than last night’s card that Arum had supporting the Pacquiao-Bradley 2 headliner. Arum did the minimum in helping make the Pacquiao-Bradley 2 card a success in terms of putting a good undercard with it. Those weren’t well-known fighters, and there was nothing there that created more interest for boxing fans to purchase the fight card.

If there’s going to be a future fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather, it won’t be because of Mayweather’s fights not bringing in good PPV numbers. Mayweather has too many options for big fights right now for his PPV numbers to tank enough for him to agree to a Pacquiao fight. In addition, Golden Boy Promotions has a lot more big names to add to Mayweather’s fight cards to pull in the fans than Top Rank. Last night, we saw some fights that were hardly PPV worthy undercard fights, especially the co-feature bout between Ray Beltran and his replacement opponent Arash Usmanee.

The best way for Arum to make a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather to happen is to take some chances with Pacquiao by matching him against guys that Arum normally wouldn’t match him against. It’s got to be one of Arum’s big names to get people excited about it. He can’t expect fans to get really excited about a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight if he’s going to put Pacquiao in with Juan Manuel Marquez or Bradley again. He won’t get fans excited if he matches Pacquiao against Brandon Rios again, or if he puts him in with Mike Alvarado.

Arum needs to either sign some new blood for Pacquiao to fight or take a big risk by matching him against someone like Sergio Martinez or Gennady Golovkin. If Pacquiao can beat one of those guys, then Mayweather will have a lot of pressure on him to face him. But he won’t have any pressure if Arum is going to keep matching Pacquiao against the same old guys – Marquez, Rios, Alvarado and Bradley. Those aren’t big enough fights, and Pacquiao isn’t beating them impressively enough.

Fans will continue to see Mayweather’s fights for the remainder of his career, and likely in far bigger numbers than Pacquiao’s fights at this point. Mayweather has an advantage in having better opposition to fight, and he’s got the personality and fighting style to make sure that his fights continually do really well. Pacquiao was a huge draw five years ago, but after exhausting the big names – Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Marquez, and Ricky Hatton, he’s run out of opponents for him to fight. And Arum seems to have also run out of ideas for opponents to put him in with, which is why we’re seeing so many rematches between Pacquiao and guys like Marquez and Bradley. Arum has run out of opponents for Pacquiao.

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