Thaboxingvoice.com recently caught up with Bob Arum at the press conference to announce Roman “Rocky” Martinez’s WBO junior lightweight title defense against Miguel “Mikey” Garcia on November 9th at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
We spoke about Top Rank’s upcoming events, specifically the October 12th HBO PPV card headlined by Timothy Bradley Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez for Bradley’s WBO welterweight title. Even though the numbers solidify Mayweather-Canelo as a huge success, it can be argued that the matchup between Bradley and Marquez is the “real” mega-fight this year and it pits 2 of boxing’s “Pound for Pound” stars in a competitive 50/50 fight.
Arum reiterated those sentiments and believes that the HBO PPV is much more compelling than Mayweather-Canelo and offers fans more bang for their buck, at least as far as main events go. While Mayweather and Canelo are genuine stars with drawing power, Marquez-Bradley will provide a much more authentic big time PPV feel and it might not be Leonard-Hearns, but it will be more Leonard-Hearns than Mayweather-Canelo.
Arum gave last weekend’s PPV its just due, but recognized that it wasn’t the competitive fight that mega events have been known for in the past.
“The press has been screaming for years that they don’t want appearance fights, they want competitive fights and they’re right. People want competition and they don’t want preordained events.
“Now, last Saturday most people believed that Mayweather and Canelo was going to be competitive, but those people in the know knew it wasn’t and that Canelo wasn’t nearly ready to fight Mayweather,” Arum said.
Arum wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t being spiteful towards the event, but he feels as though members of the press let the fight’s hype get carried away.
“We couldn’t say it [wasn’t a competitive matchup] because people would say it’s sour grapes and they’re not involved in the promotion so they’re knocking the promotion, that would’ve been wrong. But where was the press not realizing that Canelo, other than his fight with Trout — who is an ordinary fighter — has never fought anybody,” Arum said.
Despite CJ Ross’ scorecard, everyone else recognized that Mayweather was as dominant as ever, although Canelo wasn’t completely ineffective. Arum acknowledged that Canelo is a talented fighter, but admitted that it was too early in Canelo’s career to expect him to be competitive.
“He just wasn’t ready and that’s not to say he couldn’t be a great fighter in the future and he would possibly be ready to fight somebody down the line, but he’s not a schooled fighter and therefore it was clearly going to be a non-competitive fight,” Arum said.
I hope that casual fans had fun watching the Mayweather-Canelo fight, but I pray that the casual fan takes notice come October 12th because that is the kind of main event that can turn a casual fan hardcore and make a non-fan take interest in the sport of boxing.