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Why is Timothy Bradley one of the highest paid boxers on the planet?

Freddie Roach and many of those in the boxing industry claim Timothy Bradley is unable to sell tickets and there isn't much business in fighting him. But is that really the case?

Harry How - Getty Images

It's a fair question don't you think? If Tim Bradley really can't sell any tickets, as Freddie Roach claims, why is he paid so much money and why are "ticket sellers" like Ricky Hatton interested in fighting him? Bradley was paid $1.1 million dollars to fight Devon Alexander, $1.025 million dollars to fight Joel Casamayor, then a base pay of $5 million dollars to fight Manny Pacquiao.

And if a Ricky Hatton fight were to come off, would anyone doubt Bradley's ability to clear well over a few million there as well? Is this the kind of money someone who can't sell tickets deserves? Why would Marquez (III) and Bradley (I) be given the exact same base payments to fight Pacquiao? Why did Floyd Mayweather only guarantee Victor Ortiz $2 million for their 2011 fight even though just about everyone considers Ortiz a bigger draw than Bradley? Could the people paying Bradley really be stupid enough to keep making the same mistake over and over again? No one's that stupid. Somehow, someway, people have to believe Bradley is worth the investment. And while I had my doubts early on, it's becoming clear to me now.

When you look at the PPV history of boxing's two biggest box office attractions, Mayweather and Pacquiao, you have to immediately notice a drastic increase in sales once they squared off against Oscar De La Hoya. You could call it "the golden boy" effect. They needed someone who was already a major star to put them on the crossover stage. And while Tim Bradley hasn't quite performed well enough on stage for people in the audience to scream "encore", they at the very least have become familiar with his routine and know he's not out of his league. It doesn't take 2 current major attractions to make major fights. The recipe of one attraction and one highly regarded threat works time and time again. And should those threats ever finally make good on their promises, then they too become stars.

Just fighting Pacquiao made Bradley better known. Pulling off the upset, fairly or not, only made Bradley even more famous. So next time you hear Freddie Roach say something along the lines of "Bradley sold six tickets last time and he'll sell less next time," just take it with a grain of salt. Bradley is happy with the money he's making and his opponents are satisfied with their cut as well. There's plenty of "business" in fighting Tim Bradley, whether people understand why or not.

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