It is the job of a promoter in sport to gain as much publicity for the teams, tournament or star he represents and none do it better than the promoters in boxing.
For longer than fight fans can remember they have wanted to see the two greats in the sport at the present time square off in the ring, and not in the press. We are of course talking about Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather junior. Depending on who you believe, and what you believe there have been any number of reasons why the fight has never eventuated. Some fear Pacquiao may now be past his best and that was what Mayweather was waiting for, but unless they fight we will never know.
Pacquiao currently owes a great deal in taxes in the Philipines and he could do with the big pay day that this fight would bring him, but to date as much as it has been talked about it has never looked like happening.
So now Many Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has taken a different tack. After Pacquiao’s win over WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley in Las Vegas,at the weekend Arum suggested that boxing fans boycott Mayweather Jr’s May 3rd unification bout against WBA welterweight champion Marcos Maidana.
The fight is due to be televised by Showtime from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and Arum’s idea is that if Mayweather’s pay-per-view fight with Maidana does poorly, he’ll be more likely to want to take a fight against Pacquiao sooner rather than later.
“The only people that can make Floyd Mayweather fight Manny is the public,” Arum said. “If they boycott the nonsense on May 3. That’s what the public should do. If the media wants that fight, tell the public not to buy pay-per-view and not to buy tickets. We are prepared tomorrow to sit down at a table with people to work out the conditions for the fight.”
It is certainly a strange tactic for a promoter to adopt and one fears it could well backfire. According to many far better placed, the Mayweather-Maidana fight is likely to rate very well on pay-per-view television, and much better than Pacquiao’s bout with Bradley. The reason being that Maidana is likely to attract a large number of Hispanic fans in his own right, coupled with the fact that the fight is taking place on Cinco de Mayo weekend, it will do even better.
The biggest problem for fight fans is that both promoters keep putting their fighters in against other boxers that they promote. At the moment Golden Boy Promotions has a more impressive stable than Arum and so they can give Mayweather more appealing fights as well as a top quality undercard.
If the promoters cannot do it, why don’t the bodies whose World Championships they hold make each the number one contender and enforce a mandatory defence, as they used to do in the old days? The truth is even these bodies want to keep the big names wearing their belts around their waist and enjoy the kudos that brings.
Will this fight ever happen? It continues to look very unlikely at this point in time. As for Arum’s tactics, few fight fans are likely to follow his lead.