TOP STORIES (click the title to read): 'Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson' - Judge defends scoring Bradley win / Clear as a bell: Judges disgrace boxing anew as Pacquiao gets robbed in Vegas
Las Vegas, NV - So who's going to jail for robbing Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas, and the millions who lost money betting on him against Timothy Bradley last Saturday at the MGM Grand? Ocean's Eleven?
Conspiracy theorists are having a field day these days. "Blame it on Bob," they say, referring of course to promoter Bob Arum, whose famous line goes "yesterday I was lying, today I'm telling the truth."
So was Pacquiao truly a victim of the "three blind mice" who scored the fight ringside, or was there a higher power that orchestrated things behind the scenes for their own greater good?
One thing's for sure, as far as I'm concerned: Pacquiao dominated Bradley, and won Saturday night.
So what happened, and why would Arum sell out his cash cow?
Here are some theories I heard after the fight from other boxing writers, boxing fans, and wandering minds alike, and as much as I am not one to overspeculate, it's always healthy to keep an open mind:
Getting Mayweather off his back
Arum has been blamed for the fallout of the dream fight everyone has been asking for these past 3 years. Whether it's his bitter relationship with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., whom he used to promote, his greed, or protecting Pacquiao, many have pointed the finger at the 80-year-old Harvard Law cum laude grad as the monkey wrench in disrupting that fight from happening.
With Mayweather in jail, Arum is free to move on with his other options without having to deal with controversy coming from that camp. Now, instead of people just thinking about Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, a rematch with Bradley becomes the main priority. Especially when everyone knows negotiations with Mayweather will fall through again, and that a rematch with Bradley is so easy for Arum to make, any conspiracy theorist might suggest he'd script it.
Mo' Drama; Mo' Money
Mayweather has taken from Pacquiao's popularity a little. As evidenced last weekend, people weren't as interested in watching fight since Pacquiao was fighting an undefeated boxer Cathedral City, California, instead of the Las Vegas transplant from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
But with the drama of Pacquiao getting screwed, and everyone reacting so violently against it, it's a stroke of genius if Arum really did script things, because it will only bring him more money to package Pacquiao with a bargain basement fighter on his stable like Bradley, as opposed to finding other opponents that he would have to pay more, but would probably disappoint in the box office anyway. Plus, Pacquiao returns to being the conspired "People's Champ", which endeared him to many when he first burst into the US boxing scene.
Think about this: If Bradley performs decently in a rematch with Pacquiao and does not getted knocked out, you are looking at a multi-million trilogy for Arum. Bradley just became a household name, and he didn't even have to win. Can you hear that? "Cha-ching!!!"
Waking up Pacquiao and preparing for Top Rank's future
Maybe this is Arum's way of telling Pacquiao that he needs to cut out his distrations, and focus on knocking people out in the ring. As much as Pacquiao should've won, he could also have helped his case if he at least finished Bradley off, or knock him down once or twice.
Pacquiao has hinted retirement several times prior to fighting Bradley. Arum needed to make sure his cash cow has something to be motivated about and come back to lace his gloves. If not, then he'll have an undefeated African-American fighter he can continue to market and sell as if he is the second-coming of Mayweather, minus the baggage. Bradley is a high-character guy. He served in the US military, a family man, and well-spoken. In case you didn't notice, Arum and Top Rank have a shortage of superstars these days.
America needs an American boxing star not named Floyd Mayweather
Like I mentioned above, boxing in America can use the boost. Mayweather is in jail, and talks more like a wannabe-thug, and rapper, than a sports role model. It's not by accident Nike signed Bradley to an endorsement deal before fighting Pacquiao. Badley is a marketable fighter. If anything, he can play the perfect Joe Frazier to Pacquiao's Ali.
Why not? Arum has nothing to lose, and everything to gain
Arum does not work for Pacquiao. Pacquiao works for Arum. What does Arum lose really, unless Pacquiao retires due to the travesty he just had to face? Arum knows Pacquiao won't, and things just got easier for him as a promoter. Imagine what people would be saying today if things went the way they shoulve have and Pacquiao won. Who will Arum pull out of his hat and sell as a legitimate opponent for Pacquiao? Juan Manuel Marquez was starting to ask for a fortune for a 4th fight, and there really aren't a lot of names that have emerged as marketable opponents. And you already know, Arum would rather keep it "in-house".
More to follow...
Disclaimer: The ideas and views presented in this article are speculation and reactions from fans, boxing insiders and fellow media alike, and is intended for casual talk. It is in no way accusing any party of any malicious wrongdoing.
- dSG -
photo credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
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