Arum: Pacquiao would beat Canelo like he did Oscar
By Dan Ambrose: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum still believes a match can be made between his fighter Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) and WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) if Pacquiao gets past Tim Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) in their fight this Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view, and if Pacquiao chooses to continue his career.
Arum isn’t sure whether Pacquiao would decide on fighting Canelo or if he would elect to fight the lighter WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford in a fight at 140. Arum says he would back Pacquiao in whatever fighter he chooses he wants to fight.
The Pacquiao vs. Canelo fight would obviously be a much bigger fight on pay-per-view than a fight between Pacquiao and Crawford. Arum believes that Pacquiao would use his foot and hand speed to give Canelo a real beating in a similar way that he gave a past his prime Oscar De La Hoya a thrashing in their fight in 2008.
De La Hoya quit in the 8th round. However, that was a badly weight drained 34-year-old De La Hoya who lost that fight, and not the prime one from 10 years earlier in his career. De La Hoya was no longer a serious fighter by that point in his career.
“We’re going to see about that,” Arum said to Fighthub.com about Pacquiao potentially facing Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at a catch-weight of 155lbs. We have one obstacle. Manny has to beat Timothy Bradley, and he’s got to decide that he wants to continue fighting. As far as Canelo is concerned, I think he would accept the challenge, but Canelo also has an obstacle. Amir Khan’s not going to lay down. He’s not going to go without a fight. I think Canelo wins that fight, but that’s not an easy fight. Manny, the way he is now with both hands working the way they are now, Canelo is going to take the kind of beating from Manny that Oscar [De La Hoya] took. Trust me, he’s [Canelo] not going to catch him [Pacquiao]. That’s a decision for Manny. I don’t tell Manny who to fight. I listen to what he wants, and I act accordingly. If he would rather fight [Terence] Crawford at 140, than Canelo at 155, that’s a choice for Manny to make. I don’t pick his opponents. He may ask me questions about opponents, financial aspects, but he picks his own opponents. If I didn’t think Manny would beat Canelo, and if Freddie [Roach] didn’t think so, we would never have mentioned that fight,” said Arum.
Arum has been mentioning the 25-year-old Canelo a great deal in the past week, and it makes you wonder if he’s doing this in order to help attract interest in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. The fight still isn’t sold out for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, and this is a real rarity for Pacquiao. His fights have always sold out, and the fact that tickets are still available with five days to go before the fight suggests that the interest in this third fight between Pacquiao and Bradley just isn’t there. It would seem that Arum and Pacquiao made a mistake in selecting Bradley for this fight rather than someone like Danny Garcia, Amir Khan or Terence Crawford.
Canelo and De La Hoya will probably go for the Pacquiao fight if the Filipino star doesn’t hang up his gloves after the Bradley fight on Saturday night. It’s a great payday for Canelo, and it would be a nice payday for his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions as well.
Bradley could very well spoil the party on Saturday night by beating Pacquiao. A loss for Pacquiao would ruin any chances of there being a Canelo fight for him. Pacquiao could always continue fighting, but his options would be likely be limited to fighting guys like Crawford. That would be a decent money fight for Pacquiao, as he would probably still get his usual $20 million for the fight, but it’s not a fight that would bring in a huge amount of PPV buys like a Pacquiao-Canelo fight would. If Bradley beats Pacquiao on Saturday night, then it’s going to remove any chances for big money fights for Pacquiao.
If Arum wants to increase interest in the Pacquiao vs. Bradley 3 fight, then he’s going to need to keep name dropping Canelo’s name during this last week, because right now it’s not looking like the Pacquiao-Bradley fight is going to bring in a lot of PPV buys on HBO.