Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is upset with what happened last night in Las Vegas, as Timothy Bradley won a controversial split decision over Manny Pacquiao, but he's not worried about making money with the already essentially scheduled November 10 rematch between the fighters.
"This is nuts," Arum said. "People don't know what they're watching anymore. I'm going to make a lot of money (with a rematch). But who is going to take this sport seriously?"
The Hall of Fame promoter is fielding a lot of heat -- some aren't really buying that he's upset, or even that he much cares at all. Some have compared his press conference "performance" to that of a stand-up act more than an angry promoter who feels his fighter was truly wronged. Teddy Atlas hinted at some corruption, saying he'd heard that Manny Pacquiao was on his way out at Top Rank (he didn't specify contract or retirement), but that's just one of a thousand conspiracy theories floating around.
I don't know. I have no idea. I'll admit that.
One has to wonder how much money there will be in a rematch. Look, most of the "I'll never watch again!!!" folks will come back. Right now, this is a budding, potentially damaging scandal of possible epic proportions, but it could all just become Boxing As Usual, too, and the promo videos will get going and everyone will tune in to see Pacman's Revenge and all that shit.
It will depend on how this fight did, of course, on PPV and at the gate. It will depend on how much interest there is coming out of this, and not just outrage.
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KO) says he wants the rematch in November, and that he wants it in Las Vegas. Bradley (29-0, 12 KO) doesn't have any choice, really, unless he's not healthy by then or something, and he was rolling around in a wheelchair at the post-fight presser.
As for Arum's supposed concerns about boxing's credibility, well, I take that about as seriously as I would take any other promoter saying the same thing. I don't much buy Oscar's rambles about "cleaning up the sport!" and all that, and I have to admit I'm not much buying Arum being concerned about the state of boxing's credibility. He's been around too long and seen too much -- and seen too many of these nights.