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Bob Arum Seeking Fall Fight Between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley

The Devon Alexander-Tim Bradley fight turned out to be a big disappointment, but the good news is we likely won’t be forced to see a rematch, for which HBO has the rights. Bradley said he’d like to fight Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao eventually, but acknowledged he likely will need a stepping stone before moving onto such a big fight. After his win over Alexander, he said Amir Khan could be a likely opponent. If that materializes and Bradley wins, he could earn a shot at Pacquiao.

Promoter Bob Arum told Lem Satterfield at FanHouse that he’d like to see Bradley fight his prized possession, Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao of course has a May fight coming up against Shane Mosley, but not too many people are worried about PacMan stumbling in that bout. Should Bradley fight someone like Khan and win, he’d have his name built up somewhat, and he’d present a potential challenge for Manny.

Just ask Tim.

“I think that, I, myself, if I fight the perfect fight, man, I know that I can beat him,” Bradley said to FanHouse. “If I fight the perfect fight then I can beat Manny Pacquiao, no doubt.”

Pacquiao’s last three fights were at 147 pounds (his fight against Margacheato was actually a 150-pound limit), but before that he was fighting at anywhere from super featherweight to light welterweight. The potential bout between the two men would likely be at 140 pounds. If Bradley sets a fight with Khan and wins, that would be enough to earn a shot at Pacquiao. Like many of you however, I’d rather be talking about a date with Mayweather finally.

Manny Pacquiao Popularity Will Increase with CBS-Showtime Exposure

A major change occurred in the boxing world recently with the announcement that international superstar Manny Pacquiao would be leaving HBO to fight on Showtime. Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, had grown disenchanted with HBO and what he perceived to be favoritism towards to rival promoter Golden Boy. Instead of operating on HBO’s terms, Arum decided to explore other options for airing the fight and he wound up finding a home with Showtime, which is owned by CBS. Though Pac-Man’s next fight is an uninspiring bout with Shane Mosley, but it will present new opportunities in terms of exposure.

Thomas Gerbasi’s detailed piece on Max Boxing outlines the entire story behind the move to Showtime. What struck me was the promotional package CBS and Showtime agreed to in order to land the fight. Check out this ridiculous list of items reportedly promised by CBS:

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Ambassador of the Year Manny Pacquiao Targeting Fight with Shane Mosley

Manny Pacquiao, fresh off a dominating win over Antonio Margacheato, was recently named HBO’s Boxing Ambassador of the Year. It’s an extremely well deserved honor for a man who has become the most popular and prominent figure in the sport. With all of Pacquiao’s recent success and publicity, people have been wondering what’s next. We recently learned that Pac Man’s next fight will be May 7th in the U.S. but we haven’t learned the opponent.

The three potential opponents being mentioned have been Juan Manuel Marquez, Andre Berto, and Shane Mosley. Marquez, despite his history of competitive bouts against Manny, is an unlikely opponent because his representatives (Golden Boy Promotions) are in a fight with Bob Arum (Pacquiao’s promoter). Berto is 27-0, but he’s young and doesn’t have the same recognition amongst fans as someone more established such as Shane Mosley. Which brings us to the negotiations.

Lance Pugmire reports that Mosley’s adviser has a Tuesday meeting with Pacquiao’s promoter to go over a potential fight and possibly sign a deal for a May 7th bout in Las Vegas. Mosley is 39 years old, well known by fans, and he’s fought every big name in the 147 and 154 weight classes. Now that Manny has jumped up in weight, the two can finally meet.

With the way Mosley was battered by Floyd Mayweather Jr., I’m not expecting a competitive bout if this deal gets finalized. If it ain’t Floyd, I’m not interested, and if it’s Mosley I’ll be even less intrigued. This will be a no-contest if it happens.

Antonio Margarito Battered by Manny Pacquiao, Right Eye Nearly Shut

Manny Pacquiao nearly pitched a shutout in his unanimous decision victory over Antonio Margarito on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas. One judge had the fight 12 rounds to none while the other judges gave Margarito one and two rounds, respectively. Though Margarito managed to go the distance, he was thoroughly battered in the fight to the point where people speculated that it should have been stopped. Margarito said before the fight that as a true Mexican, he would die in the ring, and he lived up to his words. Just look at his face after the fight:

I’m not really sure how much honor there is in going an extra round and a half getting beat up like that. Margarito already solidified his reputation for toughness taking a beating the first 10 rounds and still fighting back. Keep in mind, carry a five inch height advantage and 20 pound weight advantage, he got plenty of shots in on Pacquiao who said afterward it was his hardest fight. You couldn’t tell based on Margarito’s beat up face:

In 36 minutes he went from looking like a smooth hipster to the parking attendant in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Pac Man straight up rearranged his face.

Upset Win Over Manny Pacquiao Will Not Change Antonio Margarito’s Legacy

Count me as someone who will be rooting for Manny Pacquiao during his fight with Antonio Margarito on Saturday night in Arlington. Pacquiao has won titles at seven different weight classes and will make it eight if he can beat Margarito. Margarito has won a title at the welterweight level and is fighting for just the second time in nearly two years. The reason for his delay is shameful and unethical: he was found to be using illegal hand wraps prior to his fight with Shane Mosley and had his boxing license suspended in the United States.

The bout with Pacquiao will be his first in the U.S. since January, 2009, and it’s one he’s hoping will help clear his name. “It’s been really tough, but this is a great opportunity for me, and I have to take full advantage of it,” Margarito has said leading up to the fight. The state of Nevada, along with California, refused to reinstate Margarito’s boxing license, so they took the case to Texas where it was ruled he would be allowed to fight. Margarito still has hopes of fighting in Las Vegas, however “I think I will fight in Vegas again,” Margarito said. “Once I get this opportunity, I know I’m going to come through.”

Margarito’s huge TKO win over Miguel Cotto in 2008 already has been called into question because people feel he may have been loading his gloves for that fight. Even though he’ll be watched heavily prior to this fight, he won’t get the credit he should for beating Manny Pacquiao. Margarito made an unforgivable move against Mosley, and perhaps against other fighters. I can never respect someone who cheated to the extent Margarito did, especially in a sport where the objective is to do physical damage to one’s opponent.

It’s sad to say it because people believe in redemption so firmly, but much like Barry Bonds and all the other steroid-users in baseball, Antonio Margarito will never escape his association with the cheating scandal. He is responsible for his actions and his legacy, and even a win over Pacquiao won’t change any of it. The only thing worse is that Pacquiao may be in a similar position.

Antonio Margarito Appears Dehydrated at Weigh-in for Fight with Manny Pacquiao

Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao were present for their weigh-in leading up to Saturday’s clash at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The smaller Pacquiao weighed in at 144.6 while the Tijuana Tornado came in at 150, the exact agreed-upon weight limit for the fight. The two boxers are meeting for the vacant WBC light middleweight title where the weight range is 147-154 pounds. Because Pacquiao is smaller, they agreed to fight at 150. It sure looks like Margarito had to do some serious training along with weight loss efforts to reach the 150 pound maximum:

While Margacheato is defined, he looks like he pissed out about 10 pounds for this fight. He seriously looks like Lance Armstrong after doing the Tour de France. Oscar De La Hoya, while seemingly in excellent shape for his fight with Pacquiao, was over-trained for their bout. Margarito looks similar, and his durability may be a concern for Saturday. Then again, if things go as Freddie Roach predicts, that won’t even matter.

Freddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao Was Not Focused Early in Training

On Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, we will find out if Team Pacquiao is honest or just a bunch of lying salesmen. In preparation of Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Antonio Margarito, trainer Freddie Roach (part of a controversy himself), has made it clear he’s been dissatisfied with Manny Pacquiao’s focus. In the first episode of HBO’s 24/7 series on the fight, Roach said that the time they spent in the Philippines prior to returning to LA was the worst training they ever had. Roach said he remembered times when Manny never missed a day of training, but this time around he was busy focusing on other things and even missed sessions.

Freddie even made another reference to Pacquiao’s lack of focus early in training during his pre-fight press conference. “A little bit of a different training camp this time. I think Manny spoils us. Usually he’s ready for a fight after three weeks of training. This time, it took us a little bit longer because Congressman Manny Pacquiao had his mind on congress a little bit too much in the Phillipines,” Roach said. “He missed his job and it was direct competition with boxing, but once we got on a plane ride home he assured me that he would get back and get focused. As soon as we got back to LA, the real Manny Pacquiao came back. Manny worked really hard for this fight.”

As for Manny, he took the opportunity to defend himself saying, “There is no problem about my training camp. The first two weeks in our training camp we had a problem because we were trying to gain weight, but the problem is I can’t move and my body feels so heavy and my speed’s gone. So I decided to maintain at 148 pounds, 147 to focus on speed.”

So, you buying any of the talk that Manny Pacquiao is unfocused or unprepared for this fight? Is any of it possible, or is it just a trick by Roach to help hype the fight and generate more fan interest? Count Antonio Margarito’s trainer, Robert Garcia, as one who thinks Freddie Roach is full of it: “This is just the stuff Freddie says to mess with our minds or hype up the fight a little.”

Manny’s win over Joshua Clottey was such a one-way beating maybe the promoters feel they have to generate more buzz by suggesting the fight will be closer than people expect. Hey, all I know is they have me somewhat curious, so the strategy must have worked.