Thoughts on PACMAN and Mayweather

By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: August 18, 2012

Arum's first option

Arum's first option

IOWA CITY, IOWA (BASN)—Bob Arum is making clear that Tim Bradley has no future in his plans since according to Arum, Bradley is a rating loser. Maybe so, but I find the Arum strategy perplexing unless you are doing everything you could to sabotage one of boxing potential biggest match.

Let take the numbers themselves. Bradley-Pacquiao attracted 900,000 PPV buys, not quite the million plus that the Pac Man obtained in his most recent fights. Contrasted to what Pacquiao did with Marquez or what Mayweather did with Cotto, one can understand Arum’s position.

I won’t be that understanding since these numbers have a story behind them. Cotto-Mayweather numbers were inflated because you had an undefeated superstar fighting one of boxing biggest draw and a Marquez-Pacquiao promised to be a great fight, which it was.

Bradley was not the big draw and a big underdog, which deflated the numbers. Bradley pulled off the upset in one of the controversial decision and now Bradley has Pacquiao title but he has to be asking, what about a rematch?

My own feeling is that a Bradley-Pacquiao rematch would drive substantial numbers since boxing world knows more about Bradley and many boxing fans wonder, was this a fluke or is Bradley better than what we think? If the goal is to set the stage for a Mayweather-Pacquiao, then a Pacquiao revenge win would be a better stage setter than a Pacquiao win over Marquez. Besides, the latter is a 50/50 proposition at best.

Think about it in this way.

Pacquiao may hold the advantage over Bradley in a rematch since any judges would be wary of giving a close round to Bradley due to what happen in the last fight. With Marquez, the opposite is true since many viewed Marquez the winner of the third Marquez and all three fights were very close affairs that could have gone either way except for Pacquiao managed to put Marquez down four times in the first two bouts.

Those knockdownst provided the difference in the PacMan being 2-0-1 or 0-3 against Marquez. A Pacquiao lost to Marquez pretty much ends any Mayweather-Pacquiao as a fight one needs to see and Mayweather could easily walk away and say good bye.

Then there is the moral case for Bradley deserved a rematch and chance to prove that the last bout was not a fluke. Bradley may have won the fight but no one truly considers him the winner and Pacquiao owes Bradley a chance for his own redemption and a chance for some really big money. The third Marquez-Pacquiao drew 1.4 million buys but there is no guarantee that a fourth fight would match that much less beat it. A Bradley-Pacquiao would exceed 1 million buys since there is enough of reason for fans to pluck the money down on the bout. A Bradley bout would be a PPV winner, if million PPV is the standard. (considering that the first bout was close to a million, then it is easy to assume that a rematch would be even a bigger draw.)

Then there is this. Marquez has shown that he has the style to beat Pacquiao and the confidence to win the next bout. Unless Pacquiao knocks Marquez out, he is as likely to lose a decision. Bradley style is more of a fit for Pacquiao as the last fight showed. Bradley could not hurt Pacquiao but the opposite happened.

Pacquiao would be favored and most of us see Pacquiao revenging his loss.

I go back to my original thought; does Bob Arum want Pacquiao to fight Mayweather? Even if you felt that Pacquiao did beat Bradley (and I do), Pacquiao is showing the sign of a fighter who is 33 and been involved in many tough fights. He is no longer at his peak but slightly on the downside. He did not fight every minute of every round against Bradley as he did when he was younger and while he delivered the heavier blows and was the more accurate puncher, Team Pacquiao has to be wondering how much time is left. A Marquez loss would have Pacquiao going into any Mayweather bout with two straight losses and that is hardly going to be an incentive for fans put down 60 dollars or more.

There are only two fights that Pacquiao should make; a second bout with Bradley or simply go for a bout with Mayweather without any more fights.

Anything else is risking a chance of boxing immortality and the possibly biggest money bout in history.