Arum: Pacquiao-Bradley Possible With Right Promotion
If junior welterweight (140 pounds) Tim Bradley (pictured above, at left) lands with his promotional company, Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum said that he would look to match the WBO and WBC king against WBO welterweight (147 pounds) and WBC junior middleweight (154 pounds) titlist Manny Pacquiao in the fall, or, early next year.
The 27-year-old Bradley (27-0, 11 knockouts) is coming off of Saturday night's HBO televised, 10-round, technical decision victory over 23-year-old southpaw Devon Alexander (21-1, 13 KOs), from whom he earned the WBC belt.
A long-time presence on HBO, the 32-year-old southpaw Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) will face 39-year-old Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) in a clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in the first-ever appearance on Showtime for both fighters.
Gary Shaw has one more fight remaining on his official promotional contract with Bradley, who is reportedly unhappy with their current arrangement and considering options for free agent status.
Arum told FanHouse that he has not spoken to Bradley, but that he would have "no problem" promoting the resident of Palm Springs, Calif.
"Bradley's under contract with Gary Shaw, and it's up to Gary to come through with another fight for him before his contract runs out. We've made no bones about it that we would love to have Tim Bradley become a part of Top Rank," said Arum.
"But that's only when it's legally able to be done. So we haven't talked to him, and we haven't proposed anything to him," said Arum. "But I don't play games. We haven't done anything. But if you asked me if we would want Tim Bradley to become a Top Rank fighter, the answer, certainly, is yes."
Pacquiao has taken criticism for facing the aging Mosley, in addition to having not faced what observers consider to be a top notch African American fighter -- the latter being a notion with which Arum is in agreement.
Mosley was chosen over 27-year-old WBC welterweight king Andre Berto (26-0, 21 KOs), who is African American, along with 37-year-old WBO and WBA lightweight (135 pounds) belt-holder, Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 38 KOs), who had battled to a draw, and, lost a disputed decision, respectively, against Pacquiao.
"Don't worry, Pacquiao will fight anybody. I mean, Manny Pacquiao will fight any of these guys. But it would have to be against somebody who we can monetize. You don't want to hurt the brand by putting Pacquiao in with somebody who has no name recognition," said Arum.
"You put him in with somebody who has name recognition so that you enhance the amount of the revenue," said Arum. "That's why we were so interested in making this move to Showtime and CBS, because we can get network television involved and all of their assets."
With the right promotion, Arum believes that Pacquiao-Bradley could have "an outside chance of happening this November, but if not, definitely the first fight in 2012."
Married to Monica Bradley last year, Tim Bradley drives her children from a previous relationship, Robert, 11, Alaysia, 6, to school and to their activities. The couple is expecting their first child together in August.
"Tim Bradley is an excellent fighter, and he's a very articulate, clean-living young man. We would do a full publicity blitz on Tim Bradley to make him known to the public. We would not do what's been done with him. Not in the way that he's been hidden," said Arum.
"Obviously, then, that would be our goal to build him. To build his name recognition so that we could make a fight happen between Tim Bradley and Manny Pacqauio," said Arum. "We can be like the other promoters and sit on our a**es and just do it because it's working and good money is coming in, but that's not doing our job. Our job is to maximize the money and to increase the revune."