Pacquiao explains why he selected Bradley for April 9th fight
By Chris Williams: Fans are still confused why Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and his No.1 money fighter Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) decided to pick out Tim Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) for a needless rematch in what will be third time these two fighters have faced each other when they get inside the ring on April 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rematches are understandable when there’s an actual reason for them, but the Pacquiao-Bradley fight seems to have been done for no other reason than a lack imagination on the part of Pacquiao and his promoters.
Some boxing fans believe that Pacquiao’s promoter Arum hand-picked Bradley himself because he wanted one of his own Top Rank fighters to get the fight, and that he didn’t want to share profits with another promotional company. However, I personally don’t believe Arum is the one that made this call for the Pacquiao-Bradley 3 fight. If it was up to Arum, I think he would have had Pacquiao fight Terence Crawford, because he needs the fight a lot more than Bradley, who is as popular as he’ll ever be.
Bradley can fight Pacquiao 100 times, and still never become a PPV attraction. Bradley seems to be stuck in terms of his popularity and he doesn’t appear to be gaining new fans no matter how many times he fights Pacquiao. I guess it’s Bradley’s lack of power, and all the mediocre opponents he’s been facing in between his fights with Pacquiao. You’re not going to gain a gillion fans if all you’re doing is fighting guys like Brandon Rios, Diego Chaves and Jessie Vargas, which is what Bradley has been doing.
Pacquiao is saying that Bradley was selected for the good of boxing and because of business reasons. If Pacquiao is naïve enough to really believe that fans want to see him fighting Bradley over and over again, then someone needs to sit him down and explain to him that there is nothing else to be explored with that fight. Pacquiao beat Bradley twice and was robbed in the first fight in the minds of fans.
“So contrary to what some sectors believe, the choice of Bradley was not based solely on a business standpoint,” Pacquiao said to philboxing.com. “There were many factors our team, headed by promoter Bob Arum, considered. And the most important, of course, was what fight can give fans the enjoyment and excitement they expect, which, actually is my primary criteria in choosing an opponent,” Pacquiao said.
If Pacquiao really wanted to give boxing fans an exciting fight, then he should have come up with some new ideas when it came to an opponent. You can’t keep fighting the same guy repeatedly and think that you’re doing the sport of boxing a favor with that kind of repetitive match-making. There were plenty of other fighters in the 147lb division that Pacquiao could have fought for his April 9th fight.
I agree that Pacquiao made a good decision by not fighting Terence Crawford, because that’s a fail in terms of PPV buys. Crawford also isn’t a welterweight. But Pacquiao could have fought Keith Thurman, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, or some of the bigger fighters like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Pacquiao fought Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito in the past, so there’s no reason why he couldn’t fight someone like Canelo.
“Many, indeed, seemed dissatisfied with the choice, but what I can assure everybody is we made that decision having the interest of the boxing public in mind,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao had a poor list of opponents to choose from for his April fight. It was Bradley, Crawford or Amir Khan. Missing were the fighters that you can call the best in the 147lb division in Errol Spence, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. Those are the guys that Pacquiao – and Arum – should have been picking from, not the list that Arum put together for Pacquiao to pick from. Crawford isn’t even a welterweight, so he shouldn’t have been on the list. Khan has been too inactive to deserve the fight with Pacquiao. I think Adrien Broner should have been on the list as well, because I think he would have been a better choice for Pacquiao’s April fight than Bradley.