It didn’t take long for promoter Bob Arum to try to rob Tim Bradley after Arum’s meal ticket, Manny Pacquiao, was robbed by two Las Vegas judges of a win Saturday night.
Most ringside observers, myself included, believe Pacquiao won convincingly over Bradley in their welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden. I had the fight scored 117-111, but that was not the fight any of the three judges saw.
Two of the three scored the fight for Bradley, a majority decision that caused a national outcry but also woke people to the reality that yes, boxing still exists and yes, it still smells.
But detecting where the stench is coming from is more difficult than determining how Bradley defeated Pacquiao by getting hit with one left hand after another to his head and body.
After Arum got done expressing his outrage over the decision, he began his campaign to reach into Bradley’s pocket and take some of the purse he might expect in a Nov. 10 rematch.
First, Arum told reporters no one wants to see a rematch — it would be difficult to sell, he claimed, and suggested he would poll fans to see whether they wanted one.
Now Arum has declared there will be no rematch until the Nevada Athletic Commission investigates the controversial decision.
“There needs to be an independent investigation because it strains credulity that an event everybody saw as so one-sided one way all three judges saw it as close,” Arum told reporters.
No one knows more about straining credulity than Arum.
Few wanted to see Pacquiao fight Bradley the first time, yet the fight resulted in a $9 million gate at the MGM, and the pay-per-view likely went over a million buys. No one wanted to see Pacquiao fight Joshua Clottey two years ago, yet they drew 51,000 to Cowboys Stadium for that snoozefest.
Arum promotes both Pacquiao and Bradley. This isn’t the same as the last time an Arum meal ticket was robbed in a decision — when Oscar De La Hoya lost to Felix Trinidad in 1999.
Don King was Trinidad’s promoter, and after the fight he bellowed at the news conference, “The lights are out in Arumville.”
Because of the conflicting promoters, there was never a rematch, something De La Hoya regrets to this day.
This time, the light still burns brightly in Arumville. He promotes both fighters, and all this talk about not having a rematch is about leverage against Bradley, who stands to make a lot more than the $5 million he reportedly earned Saturday night.
Besides, I’m sure with Pacquiao’s newfound faith, there is scripture somewhere that says honor thy rematch clause.
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