By now we have all heard about Manny Pacquiao‘s stunning loss to Timothy Bradley earlier this month. Most experts and even casual fans that watched the fight had Pacqiuao ahead, when two of the judges gave the match to Bradley. Promoter Bob Arum has been vocal about filing a protest and requesting an investigation, to make sure there is no funny business going on. Now I grant that this is speculation, but could this be Arum trying to confuse things? After all, there is no single person that can benefit more from this than Arum himself.
As boxing fans, we are all programmed to think of Don King as the evil promoter, but King is approaching 200 years old, and the last time he was involved in anything approaching a big fight was Ricardo Mayorga versus Miguel Cotto. Really King is now more of a caricature of himself, as he still wears the same jean jacket with his own picture on the back (first seen on Don in the 80′s I believe), he still waves the fistful of flags and he is still willing to chant ‘Only in America’ or whatever other catch phrase for any recording device you put in front of him.
However Arum, who is also well over 100 years old, continues to manage boxing at the highest level.
Immediately after the match between Pacquiao and Bradley, Arum was already starting on the spin job. By calling for an investigation into the decision, Arum creates the facade of righteousness. But there is no single person who would benefit more from said conspiracy than the TOP RANK boss.
You see, Arum is the promoter for both fighters, Pacquiao and Bradley. And Bradley, despite being a very solid fighter, is a low charisma, low KO ratio type of fighter who will never be the draw of a Pacquiao. So immediately afterwards, Arum was already working on creating a buzz around Bradley.
But was it more than that? Were the judges part of an orchestration, as Arum is saying? Here is my speculative scenario, but no one can deny that the astute Arum is capable of orchestrating the following:
Arum recognized in the build up to the fight that the Pacquiao era was coming to an end. Pacquiao has been under a lot of outside pressures, and there are the hints from Freddie Roach and others that Pacquiao’s skills are starting their downward spiral.
Then there is the Alex Ariza controversy that may not have gotten enough media attention. You have a clash of egos, as Arum was upset by the strength and conditioning coach’s vocal nature and statements he made to the media about Arum being the cause for the inability to make the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Soon after that, other clients of Arum, including Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Amir Khan and Freddie Roach all stopped working with Ariza.
However Pacquiao chose to flex his ego a bit, and keep Ariza in his corner for the Bradley fight. The mountain casting a shadow on Pacquiao may have been Arum’s own ego as he decided to accelerate the transition for his companies to a post Pacquiao world.
So the call for an investigation into the results of the fight by Bob Arum is probably the first salvo in a media blitz designed to keep him and his fighters in the public eye, much like when Mayweather punches a girl or a security guard somewhere.
But if there is a conspiracy, who benefits the most from it? You may have to look no further than the man calling for the investigation in the first place.