Bob Arum Not Worried About UFC on Fox Competition for Pacquiao

Bob Arum might be more concerned with UFC than he's letting on, but he also might not be. Bob is a riddle. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Bob Arum tells ESPN.com that he's not concerned about the November 12 network TV debut of UFC on Fox harming the numbers for that night's Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez pay-per-view:

"We were always planning a tremendous, quality event. It's going to be an unbelievable undercard, with pizzazz and great fights -- the same type of shows we've been putting on for Pacquiao fights. ... There is no competition. If Fox was to put on a top movie that night, it might be more competition. If Fox put on Manchester United that night, it would be more competition."

Arum also says that "less than 5%" of UFC viewers are also boxing viewers, which I think is nonsense, and I think a lot of boxing fans would quibble with the idea that Top Rank has put on "tremendous, quality" undercards for Manny Pacquiao events in the recent past. Of the last six Pacquiao pay-per-views, the only really good undercard fights have been Vazquez vs Arce and Jones vs Soto Karass. So in a way he's kind of contradicting himself, but oh well.

I do think that Arum's quotes, taken as they are and not reading into them (which you always should), underestimate the UFC quite a bit, but that's always been Bob's game with UFC. I don't think he understands the sport or its impact on a demographic that boxing hasn't captured. But that's just the way I see it, and I don't even necessarily believe it's a bad thing that Arum mostly just dismisses the competition, while also saying he welcomes it. It's not the worst position to take.

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