Thursday, July 30, 2009

Does Bob Arum consider Pacquiao fans irrelevant?

Without the WBO belt, Pacquiao-Cotto's Nov. 14 bout will flop.

Mark my words, if Bob Arum insists on staging a beltless Pacquiao-Cotto bout on November 14, the returns will be significantly less than he expects it to be and burn him a lot more than the $150,000 sanctioning fees the WBO demands for him to pay for the bout to have Cotto's title on the line.

See it's not really about the luster of the WBO belt. We all know the value of ABC belts in boxing have depreciated similar to houses all across the US but the fact is, Pacquiao is on the verge of making history.

Besides, haven't we been here before? Wasn't it just a few months ago when Pacquiao's value was being underestimated during discussions about the purse-split between him and Ricky Hatton? At the time Arum was also quoted expressing his disappointment with Pacquiao asking for more than a 50/50 split when he could've very well fought for his ward. We all know what happened in that one and after his destruction of Hatton and how he made the proud Brit look like a bum sparring partner, one has to wonder how Hatton was even paid remotely anywhere close to 50 percent of the pot against Pacquiao. Okay I get it, The Hitman has a huge buying fan base, but the theme is increasingly disturbing as to how Pacquiao's fan base, arguably the most active followers of the sport today, is being taken forgranted once again.

After all, without great fighters that always provide great fights, nobody will buy Pay-Per-Views anyway. Manny Pacquiao by far is the best in the business of doing that right now. Floyd Mayweather Jr. may have suckered people in the past into buying his fights next to more popular dance partners like De la Hoya and Hatton, but a lot of those same fans know better now to stay away from purchasing his fights because of his boring style. There's a reason why nobody is really talking about Mayweather-Marquez right now.

It's a slap on Pacquiao's face and his fans to say that nobody cares that he wins a seventh divisional crown, something nobody else in history has ever done. Perhaps Arum is banking on Pacquiao's newfound non-Filipino related US boxing fanbase to pull thru in terms of buying the fight card because I'm guaranteein you right now, Filipinos from all around the world will not purchase this fight if they continue to belittle their significance in the grand scheme of things.

So nobody cares in the US cares about Pacquiao making history? You can either interpret that as saying America simply wants to see Pacquiao fight Cotto regardless of what's at stake or that Bob Arum considers Pacquiao's fans in the US as "nobodies". Truth be told, all you have to do is have Michael Marley forward you a copy of the 18 thousand names and signatures he received in a span of 24 hours expressing their desire for Pacquiao and Cotto's fight on November 14 to be for all the marbles.

It's not even about weight. Two pounds under 147 is acceptable and is a far-cry from the 143 Pacquiao said to have wanted. Even Floyd Mayweather's trainer Roger Mayweather gave props to Pacquiao saying he has "some major balls" to have the audacity and move up to challenge Cotto. For one, his nephew never even bothered take that challenge and opted to fight the smaller Juan Manuel Maruez instead.

Perhaps Arum’s master plan is percolating as we speak. Maybe this is a publicity stunt as some people say it is, but one thing's for sure, if Arum wants this fight to exceed expectations in terms of PPV sales, he needs to throw Cotto's belt in the mix which isn't such a bad promotional tool either. The people have spoken, and I do not condone ripping these fights off and watching them for free on online stream sites but I know how these things go. Filipinos know how to use their technology and fight back when they are being pinned against the wall and signs are pointing towards a boycott of Pacquiao-Cotto if they don't feel like they will get what they and their idol deserve. The ball is in your court Bob. Make the right move!

Source: (July 29, 2009)

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