Timothy Bradley is likely to face Manny Pacquiao on June 9 if Miguel Cotto does not sign on for a rematch with the Filipino. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is pitching the idea of a mini-tournament involving four top fighters, should Miguel Cotto not sign to fight Manny Pacquiao for a second time on June 9. From RingTV.com:
"We could have a tournament. Let's say that if Mayweather doesn't ever come to the table, which is a possibility," said Arum. "Then let's say that Manny fights Bradley because Cotto has a problem with the weight, then Marquez fights Peterson, and the winner of that fights fights the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley -- if that's the fight that we make."
Cotto does indeed have a problem with the proposed weight to fight Pacquiao -- Cotto won't fight under 150, Pacquiao won't fight over 147 -- and Bradley (28-0, 12 KO) has been looking like the second choice to face Pacquiao on June 9 if Cotto balks. This could lead to Cotto fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr on May 5, which Cotto says Mayweather will take at a full 154 pounds, or to Cotto waiting until July and perhaps facing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer has his own thoughts on Arum's tournament idea:
"I could give a shit about Arum's bullshit tournament. It just goes to show you that he's already saying what he's going to do in November. He had no intentions of doing a Pacquiao fight with Mayweather. I hope that the public realizes that this guy did not want the fight. ... The fact is that at least he realizes that he's having two semi-main events with the winners fighting each other. We believe that the time for doing tuneups and lead-ins, that that time has come and gone. We believe in only promoting main events. Every one of our fights is a final."
The latter part is a bit confusing, considering Schaefer was proposing a welterweight tournament to HBO in September when Mayweather was fighting Victor Ortiz (in fact, news of the tournament idea came out that very afternoon).
I mean, it seems like he's talking about Mayweather and Pacquiao specifically, but then he says "Every one of our fights is a final," which is peculiar, considering I don't think anyone but Oscar De La Hoya on Twitter considered Canelo Alvarez's bullshit (oops!) fight with Kermit Cintron a "final" or anything more than a "tuneup" or "lead-in," particularly after the sobering reality of what Kermit Cintron is (or more relevantly, isn't) really hit people after seeing the fight. And why even bother getting started on that night's Adrien Broner televised co-feature disgrace (which was a main event in Cincinnati)? World title fight!!
But, no, totally, Golden Boy only brings us the best, most evenly-matched fights out there. All the time. It's true. They do business differently. And why Schaefer had input right away on this idea is...well, you can probably guess why. Bob Arum isn't often given space to immediately dump on any Golden Boy plans in The RING.
The bickering between the two companies has gone more out of control than ever, really. They're both living in fantasy land at this point.
As for Arum's proposed fights, they're good fights. Bradley is a fresh, talented challenger for Pacquiao, one some feel is a good and very tough style matchup for the Filipino star. Marquez vs Peterson has been talked about by both fighters, and both seem legitimately interested. (This would also mean that Schaefer doesn't get the Peterson vs Khan rematch he so desperately wants, which may also be riling him up somewhat.)
Still, despite any criticisms of Schaefer I might have just laid out, or might ever say, this would pretty much fall in line with what he predicted a couple of weeks ago, when he said he expected Pacquiao vs Bradley, Marquez vs Peterson, and Chavez vs Cotto.
If those fights all happen, though, it's on him to find a fight for Floyd Mayweather Jr on May 5, and his hands are close to tied. Canelo Alvarez says he wants it, but will Golden Boy risk him losing badly to Mayweather at this stage? Robert Guerrero has been rejected by the public at large as even an idea, and Schaefer has stated that fight won't happen, so if they went there, they'd have to explain that.
Also, just sayin', not really trying to break balls here: There is exactly one proven welterweight in Arum's tournament idea. It's Manny Pacquiao.