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Arum won’t postpone Pacquiao-Bradley

arum5By Chris Williams: 84-year-old promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank says he won’t be postponing the April 9 fight between his two Top Rank stable fighters Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) and Tim Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) despite there being a tremendous amount of distraction going on from that fight due to the criticism that is being leveled at the 37-year-old Pacquiao over his recent comments about gays.

Arum is saying that there is a massive amount of interest from the boxing public in the Pacquiao vs. Bradley 3 fight, and he believes it’s going to do well on HBO pay-per-view.

It probably would be better for Arum if he were to delay the Pacquiao-Bradley 3 fight for at least three to four months so that fans could eventually focus on the fight rather than on Pacquiao’s recent comments, but Arum doesn’t seem interested in delaying the fight. He wants the fight to take place on time.

“The fight won’t be postponed. There is tremendous interest in the fight and many people will buy (the pay per view) because it’s a good fight,” Arum said to ABS-CBS sports.

The Pacquiao-Bradley 3 fight is a played out one as it is, but the timing for the fight is not good right now. It would be far better for Arum to delay the fight until fans have forgotten about Pacquiao’s recent comments. That would be the ideal thing for Arum to do.

If Arum could tear the contract for the fight up and go with someone else as Pacquiao’s next opponent, I think that would help too. In reading the comments from fans on the internet websites, I have found very few that are interesting in paying to see Pacquiao fight Bradley for a third time. In the past, there were fans that wanted to see them fight each other. Not thing time though. I think Arum has taken the horses to the troth one time too many, and I believe he’s going to be sadly disappointed when the PPV numbers come out.

It’s always possible that the fans will be interested in paying to see the Pacquiao vs. Bradley 3 fight on HBO PPV. Right now though, I don’t see the interest there at all from fans. What I do see is a general lack of interest, and that tells me that the 84-year-old Arum made a blunder in choosing to make this third fight between Pacquiao and Bradley.

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You have to wonder whether anyone else in the Top Rank organization tried to talk some sense to Arum to make him understand that there would be more money for Pacquiao if he were to be matched up against someone like Adrien Broner or Amir Khan. Putting Pacquiao back in with a guy he’s already fought twice just reeks of complacency, lack of imagination, and perhaps even a resistance to change. You’ve got to be flexible in this sport and you need to come up with new kinds of match-making if you want to stay at the head of the promotional game. Putting the same fighters together in rematch after rematch makes things stale, and I think Arum needed someone to point that out to him.

If I was promoting Pacquiao, I would not even consider putting him in with Bradley a second time. I would understand that there was no way that boxing would pay to see that fight a third time, given the one-sided nature of the second fight between in 2014 and the controversy of their first fight in 2012. I would want to put Pacquiao with new guys, and I would reach out to fighters outside of my stable to make those fights happen. I would have tried to match Pacquiao against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. It’s obviously a fight that Pacquiao might lose, but he would make so much more money in that fight than he would against Bradley. I don’t think there would be comparison. Instead of Pacquiao getting the fight against Canelo, Amir Khan is getting it, and the interest in that fight is HUGE. The fact that Arum didn’t make Pacquiao-Canelo or Pacquiao-Khan tells me that he blew it. Those are much better fighters than trotting out Bradley for a third fight against Pacquiao and expecting boxing fans to gleefully pay $70 to see it. I don’t think that’s smart match-making. I think it’s stale match-making.

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