Freddie Roach, who has taken Manny Pacquiao's skills to such a level that Oscar de la Hoya is paying him a huge sum of money to train him for his upcoming showdown with Floyd Mayweather, has publicly taken Top Rank chief Bob Arum to task for not delivering a quality opponent for Pacquiao in his upcoming fight.
Roach says that Pacquiao was promised a $5 million purse for an April 28 fight in Macau against In Jin Chi, and that he believes the reason that fight fell through is that Arum simply couldn't pony up on his guarantee. He also said that Pacquiao's new next fight, in April against Jorge Solis in Texas, is "a big step down," and that co-headliner Jorge Arce will be the real draw on the PPV show, putting Pacquiao in the backseat.
Now, there are two ways to look at this. Roach is right that Jorge Solis is an unknown fighter and is on paper a step backward for Pacquiao coming off of a huge fight and victory against Erik Morales. And if what he says is true, that he never even received a tape of Solis before the fight was signed, Roach is right to criticize Arum because of that.
So, really, Roach is correct that Arum could be handling Pacquiao's career better right now.
But to bitch about co-headlining a pay-per-view? What's the point in that? Arce will help draw a crowd in Texas, as he is hugely popular. Arce will also help the pay-per-view numbers. Since when is it a bad thing to have a fighter like Arce on a card and get more people paying to see it?
The "one-fight show" mentality of boxing pay-per-views is part of the problem the sport has experienced in recent years, and it likely mostly stems from the egos of certain fighters. As a boxing fan that will be paying for that show, I can't think of one bad thing that comes out of having Pacquiao and Arce fighting on the same card.
Roach may be in the right here, but in making that happen, he exposes something that's wrong. He's got to face facts that Pacquiao is a big star and a tremendous fighter, but to American fight fans, he's not a solo draw just yet. If Roach thinks it was Pacquiao that brought in most of the fans for Pacquiao/Morales III, he's wrong. And even if he was a draw by himself, it's not a crime to share a card with other stars.