Arum not interested in matching Pacquiao against Thurman, Brook or Spence

By Boxing News - 03/08/2017 - Comments

Image: Arum not interested in matching Pacquiao against Thurman, Brook or Spence

By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao won’t be matched against Keith Thurman or the winner of Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence Jr. fight, as his Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he’s not interested in putting the 38-year-old Filipino star in a unification fight. Arum sees the unification fights as for “boxing schmucks.”

Arum doesn’t appear to have interest in having Pacquiao be a part of finding an overall top guy in the welterweight division by matching him against Thurman and then Brook-Spence winner. It would be a great opportunity for Pacquiao to increase his popularity to get it back to where it was from 2008 to 2012 when he was routinely generating fights that pulled in 1 million PPV buys.

Pacquiao’s numbers have slipped in part because of the soft match-making that Arum has done for Pacquiao in the last 5 years of his career. Pacquiao had one big fight in the last 5, and that was against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015. Other than that fight, Arum has matched Pacquiao against Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley. Those were all fights that failed to increase Pacquiao’s popularity in the boxing public.

“This is totally for boxing schmucks. It means nothing to me,” said Arum when asked by if he was interested in matching Manny Pacquiao in the unification fights at welterweight against Keith Thurman and the winner of the Errol Spence vs. Kell Brook fights. “The two guys get in the ring, and they have a big audience because it’s on network television, and they fight each other in the most cautious fight I’ve ever seen. Who the hell cares about unification or no unification? I came from an area where [Thomas] Hearns and [Sugar Ray] Leonard fought, and boy, they didn’t hold back. They let go, both Tommy and Ray, and that’s what fighters owe to the public. Not to fight those bull-[expletive] cautious fights where nothing happens and they’re sort of boring. So there were millions of fans watching guys that were more cautious than your neighborhood banker. I was just disgusted,” said Arum.

Rather than matching Pacquiao against popular fighters like Thurman, Brook and Spence, Arum wants to match Pacquiao against little known Australian fighter Jeff Horn in his next fight. It would be an in house fight where he’s putting Pacquiao in with one of his own Top Rank guys. Pacquiao-Horn likely won’t interest the casual boxing fans in the U.S, as they don’t know who Jeff Horn is.

It’s a fight that HBO PPV might not be interested in either due to Horn being obscure fighter to the U.S fans. It’s too bad Arum doesn’t want to match Pacquiao against the more popular guys, because right now, he really needs a win over a relevant fighter like Thurman, Danny Garcia, Spence or Brook to show the fans that he’s still a top guy. Putting Pacquiao in with Horn, Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley can’t be doing much for his PPV numbers. Those are not big enough fights to increase Pacquiao’s popularity in my opinion

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