Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has some concerns about whether his aging money fighter 35-year-old Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KO’s) can get by his next opponent WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (31-0, 12 KO’s) on April 12th next month. Pacquiao didn’t look so great the last time he fought Bradley two years ago, and there’s no way of knowing if Pacquiao will be any better in the remain.
A loss for Pacquiao would likely be a huge blow for Arum, because it could become much more difficult to sell Pacquiao’s fights on pay-per-view. Pacquiao’s last fight against Brandon Rios drew only 475,000 last November, and you’ve got to figure that a defeat at the hands of Bradley won’t help matters for the Filipino star. That would be his third defeat in his last four fights.
At some point fans are going to wonder whether it’s even worth it to pay to see Pacquiao’s fights given that they can see other fighters with mediocre records on regular cable.
“Of course it’s risky,” Arum said via the telegraph. “Why would people buy tickets or pay per view for a fight that didn’t have a degree of risk? If it’s something that we know what the outcome is going to be, why the hell would people bother? Can Manny pull it out? Yeah, probably, but it’s not going to be easy.”
Arum seems a little initiated, doesn’t he?
A loss for Pacquiao would likely mean either an immediate rematch against Bradley or a fight against one of Arum’s other fighters like Mike Alvarado, Brandon Rios, Mikey Garcia, Ruslan Provodnikov or Juan Manuel Marquez. A fight against Marquez would be a long shot because Marquez is more interested in fighting for the WBO welterweight title against whoever has the belt, so that would mean Bradley.
Pacquiao would have to face one of the remaining fighters in Arum’s stable, and wait for a chance to get Bradley in the ring again for a third fight. I don’t see why Pacquiao would bother facing Bradley again if he loses for the second time to him, but he might have to face him in order to try and gain his credibility with boxing fans back.