Spence-Garcia Set For November Pay Per View
By: Sean Crose
“Undefeated unified welterweight world champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) returns to defend his titles against two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) in one of the most anticipated boxing matches of the year headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.” So claimed Premiere Boxing Champions in a Saturday evening press release.
The Covid-19 pandemic has kept many top fighters out of action. Spence and Garcia have been no exception. The 26-0 Spence was last seen besting another Garcia in 2019. That’s when he topped the weight skipping Mikey Garcia in one sided fashion. Spence has kept in the news, however, by virtue of a horrible car crash he miraculously survived last autumn. Before then, however, the Texan was on a huge ride to the top. Aside from Mikey Garcia, the standout earned wins against Chris Algieri, Kell Brook, and Shawn Porter.
Garcia, whose last battle was a January win over Ivan Redkach, has fought some of the biggest names the fight game has seen in the past ten years. Amir Khan, Erik Morales Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse and Paulie Malignaggi have all been bested by the Philly native. Even Garcia’s losses have been noteworthy. He may have dropped decisions to Keith Thurman and to Porter, but both those fights were close and exciting to watch. At thirty-two years of age, Garcia is still one of the top names in the welterweight division.
Spence, on the other hand, is considered one of the five biggest talents in the sport. It’s been long wished that the 30 year old would face fellow welterweight kingpin Terence Crawford, although promotional conflicts make the possibility of such a fight challenging. Manny Pacquiao has been considered a possible opponent for both Spence and Garcia. For now, however, the two men will be facing each other. Although Spence will most likely be the favorite, it will be hard to write off the skilled Garcia, especially when it’s unclear how recent events will have effected Spence.
The Spence-Garcia fight will be the first major boxing event in months. For it’s been since last winter that a major card went down. That was in February, when Tyson Fury bested Deontay Wilder in the rematch of their controversial 2018 matchup. Since that time, Covid-19 has largely put the sport on halt, though entertaining smaller cards have been making the rounds throughout the summer.
HBO Pay Per View Undercard Results: Valdez Impresses, Jose Ramirez and Gilberto Ramirez Win by Decisio
HBO Pay Per View Undercard Results: Valdez Impresses, Jose Ramirez and Gilberto Ramirez Win by Decision
By: William Holmes
Tonight’s HBO Pay Per View was presented by Top Rank Promotions from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. As typical for Las Vegas, the Grand Garden Arena was nowhere near filled by the time the opening bout started.
The opening bout of the night was between Manny Perez (25-11-1) and Jose Ramirez (16-0) in the super lightweight division.
Jose Ramirez is a high ceiling prospect with a lot of hype behind his name. He began the opening round strong and landed multiple jabs, but Perez showed he was here to fight and connected with several stinging straight right hands in a row in the last minute of the first round.
Ramirez had settled down by the second and third round and stayed active with his jab and Perez at bay. Perez was able to land some shots to the body in the third round, but Ramirez had a very strong fourth round and nearly doubled the number of punches connected.
Perez was able to match Ramirez in activity in the fifth and sixth rounds and had some success to the body, but Ramirez landed the harder and crisper punches and Perez’s face was starting to show signs of swelling. By the seventh round he had blood pouring out of his face.
Perez showed incredible heart and did his best to make it a fight, but he was getting beat badly and was fading badly as the rounds progressed.
Jose Ramirez remained undefeated with a decision victory over a very game Manny Perez with scores of 97-93, 98-92, and 99-91.
The next televised bout was between Evgeny Gradovich (21-1) and Oscar Valdez (18-0) in the featherweight division.
Valdez looked comfortable early on in the bout and was landing clean counters in the first round. Valdez mixed up his combinations to the body and head in the second round and battered Gradovich whenever he tried to get in close.
Gradovich’s face was red by the third round and Valdez tagged Gradovich with nearly every punch he threw. He began to really throw some power behind his shots this round and was landing some vicious ones.
Gradovich finally went down in the third round from a hard right hook left hook combination by Valdez. Gradovich was able to get back to his feet before the count of ten but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.
Valdez was extremely impressive and obliterated a former world champion.
Oscar Valdez wins by TKO at 2:14 of the fourth round.
The final bout on the undercard was between Arthur Abraham (44-4) and Gilberto Ramirez (33-0) for the WBO Super Middleweight Title.
Ramirez, a southpaw, was obviously longer and taller than Abraham. Abraham was content with fighting defensive early on and kept a high guard, while Ramirez threw a high volume of punches and outworked the older Abraham.
Ramired’s activity continued in the second round and Abraham’s face was showing signs of damage. Abraham was able to land a hard right uppercut in the second, but was countered with a left hook that forced Abraham to back into a corner.
Ramirez had a strong third round and was ending several of his combinations with stiff body shots. Abraham was able to throw a few wild bombs at the end of the fourth round but did not land many shots.
Ramirez continued to stick and move in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds and was dominating the action. Abraham’s best round of the three was the sixth as he was able to land a few right hands when he let his hand go.
By the seventh round Ramirez had connected with eighty four punches while Abraham hand connected with only forty nine. Abraham was momentarily wobbled with a left hand in the seventh.
Ramirez was warned for low blows in the eighth round but continued to batter his opponent and kept up a strong pace. Ramirez connected with a thudding straight left hand in the eleventh round and only needed to play it safe in the final round to win a decision.
Abraham was never able to effectively push the pace and seriously threaten Ramirez. The judges scored it 120-108 on all three scorecards for Gilberto Ramirez.
Back to the Future with Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas
Back to the Future with Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas
By Ivan G. Goldman
In a world teeming with excellent welterweights, we wake up just about every year to the same old match-up of Timothy Bradley versus Manny Pacquiao. Will this never end? Will they battle on and on like doomed ageless warriors in a demented sci-fi flick?
Won’t someone step up to release them and us from this bend in the time-space continuum?
When Bradley won a ridiculous split decision over Pacquiao in their first bout almost four years ago, promoter Bob Arum described the foolish scorecards as a “death knell” for the sport. Yet that didn’t prevent him from promoting a second and now a third contest, which comes at us this Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view.
Everyone connected to the promotion acts like it’s an event surrounded by unparalleled drama, but when the microphones and cameras are gone everyone – and I mean everyone – understands Pacquiao prevailed in both previous contests. In terms of entertainment they were acceptable, certainly not thrilling.
Arum, who’s promoting this fight because he seems to be out of good ideas, hired respected boxing voice Bill Dwyre to write a series of pre-fight articles that are being emailed all around the fight community. Dwyre, now retired, used to run the sports section at the L.A. Times.
From time to time he falls back on the fact that both these fighters happen to be trained by celebrities – Teddy Atlas in Bradley’s corner and of course Freddie Roach in Pacquiao’s. The latter is a storied fighter/trainer combination known around the world. Atlas versus Roach creates a kind of reality TV programming atmosphere.
What goes unmentioned in publicity materials is that in his previous outing Pacquiao screwed all the paying customers by participating with a serious injury that he and his team covered up as long as they could. They clearly feared to jeopardize an astronomical payday for at long last facing Floyd Mayweather.
Previously Philippines Congressman Pacquiao had an almost sacred bond with fans. His Number One goal, he said repeatedly, was to entertain them with good fights. But if that ever was his mission, he discarded it like a wad of chewed-up gum when faced with the prospect of losing a $100 million purse. So he climbed into the ring injured and fought like it.
Mayweather, as is his wont, never really pressed him so the biggest-money fight in history was a terrible dud, a bomb, a failure, flop, a catastrophe, bogus. But not for the folks who shared the booty.
Afterward Mayweather jogged through a 49th victory – also on PPV — over Andre Berto and hung up his gloves. Meanwhile legendary Pacquiao, who turned 37 four months ago, soldiers on. Beloved by Filipino fans, he’s apparently been guaranteed $20 million. Isn’t 37 rather old for a welterweight? Especially one who’s been through so many wars as he notched up a record of 57-6-2, 38 KOs? Yes.
As for Bradley, guaranteed $4 million, he’s come through fire to achieve well-earned success, but he lacks a knockout punch. If they’ll keep offering him this kind of money to fight Pacquiao, he’ll keep showing up. But will the fans? Pacquiao, once known for blazing power, has delivered only one stoppage in his last 11 outings. That was over Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Al Haymon, who presides over cash-guzzling Premiere Boxing Champions, has reached the point where he might do business with his archenemy Arum and offer up welterweights like Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman as opponents. Maybe not. But Kell Brook and Amir Khan are also out there. Khan may or may not be involved in a business relationship with inscrutable Haymon.
Arum, who’s put together another so-so undercard, predicts a PPV audience of 700,000-plus. I hope everyone who buys this fight ends up pleased with the purchase. It’s possible.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available from Permanent Press wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.
HBO Pay Per View Preview: Pacquiao vs. Bradley, Valdez vs. Gradovich, Abraham vs. Ramirez
HBO Pay Per View Preview: Pacquiao vs. Bradley, Valdez vs. Gradovich, Abraham vs. Ramirez
By: William Holmes
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site for HBO’s next Pay Per View offering featuring Top Rank Promotions’ stars Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr.
Saturday night might be the last time we ever see Manny Pacquiao inside the ring as he has previously stated his intentions to retire after this fight to focus on a career in politics, but he has recently waivered on that promise.
HBO usually televises at least two bouts before the main event of a pay per view, and one of the bouts is a super middleweight title fight between Arthur Abraham and Gilberto Ramirez.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts for Saturday night.
Oscar Valdez (18-0) vs. Evgeny Gradovich (21-1); Featherweights
Oscar Valdez is a young twenty five year old prospect that competed in the Olympics for Mexico in 2008 and 2012. Gradovich is called by many the Mexican Russian and is known for his aggressive fighting style and is trained by Roberto Garcia.
Gardovich has a strong amateur background and was a member of the Russian Amateur Team, but he never competed in the Olympics like Valdez. He’s also four years older than Valdez but is still in his athletic prime.
Valdez has the heavier hands and has stopped sixteen of his opponents, including four of his past five fights. Gradovich is aggressive, but he’s not a powerful puncher. He only has nine stoppage victories and hasn’t had one in his past five bouts.
Gradovich will have about a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a one inch reach advantage. Both boxers fight out of an orthodox stance.
Valdez has been considerably more active than Gradovich in the past two years. He has fought a total of eight times in 2014 and 2015 while Gradovich fought four times.
Gradovich is a former IBF World Featherweight Champion and has defeated the likes of Alexander Miskirtchian, Billy Dib (twice), and Mauricio Javier Munoz. Valdez has not faced the level of competition of Gradovich but has defeated the likes of Chris Avalos and Ruben Tamayo.
Most concerning for Gradovich however is that he struggled in his last two fights despite winning, and was only able to manage a split decision against an unheralded Aldimar Silva Santos. He’ll have to swarm Valdez and throw a high volume of punches if he hopes to win.
This is an excellent test for Valdez to see if he can handle a former champion that’s still relatively young, but it’s a test that many expect Valdez to pass.
Arthur Abraham (44-4) vs. Gilberto Ramirez (33-0); WBO Super Middleweight Title
Arthur Abraham has been fighting as a professional since 2003 and is the current WBO Super Middleweight Champion and was the former IBF Middleweight Champion.
Age, however, is not on his side as he is thirty six years old and twelve years older than his opponent. He will also be giving up five and a half inches in height and three inches in reach to Ramirez.
Both boxers have decent power as Abraham has stopped twenty nine of his opponents while Ramirez has stopped twenty four. Ramirez has been more active than Abraham and has fought seven times in the past two years, but Abraham by far is the more experienced and tested boxer.
The Armenian born Abraham has defeated the likes of Martin Murray, Robert Stieglitz (three times), Paul Smith, Jermain Taylor, Lajuan Simon, Raul Marquez, Edison Miranda, Elvin Ayala, and Howard Eastman. His losses were to Robert Stieglitz, Andre Ward, Carl Froch, and Andre Dirrell.
Ramirez’s best victories to date have come against Gevorg Khatchikian, Derek Edwards, Maxim Vlasov, and Giovanni Lorenzo.
Abraham hasn’t fought outside of Germany in five years and two of his losses have occurred in the United States.
This will be a tough fight for Ramirez and Abraham is well known for his excellent stamina and ability to come on strong as a fight progresses. This is one of the most competitive fights on the card and most intriguing, but Ramirez is a highly regarded prospect for Top Rank. Abraham’s age and lack of success when fighting in the United States will be a hindrance for him.
This bout could go either way, but Ramirez should be considered a very slight favorite.
Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2) vs. Timothy Bradley Jr (31-1-1); Welterweights
This will be the third time these two will meet in the ring, with Bradley winning the first bout and Pacquiao winning the rematch. However, most ringside observers, including this writer, felt Pacquiao won both bouts.
Both boxers will surely have had hall of fame careers, but this might be Pacquiao’s last fight as a professional and his skills have been slowly eroding before our eyes.
He has been fighting as a professional since he was sixteen years old and weighed 98 pounds and was only 4’11”. This will be his 21st year fighting as a pro. His first professional bout was in 1995.
Pacquiao has since grown to 5’5 ½” and has a 67” reach. Bradley is only a half an inch taller but will have a two inch reach advantage. Bradley is also thirty two years old while Pacquiao is thirty seven.
Bradley has the edge in amateur experience and is a former US Jr. Golden Gloves Champion and a Police Athletic League National Champion. Pacquiao though, had the edge in world titles held and is an eight division world champion.
Neither boxer can be accused of ducking the competition. Pacquaio has thirty eight stoppage wins on his record and has defeated the likes of Lehlo Ledwaba, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Oscar Larios, Jorge Solis, Marco Antonio Barrera, David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Brandon Rios, and Chris Algieri. He has lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley Jr., Erik Morales, and two losses early on in his career to Medgoen Singsurat and Rustico Torrecampo.
Bradley’s lone loss was to Manny Pacquiao. He has defeated the likes of Brandon Rios, Jessie Vargas, Diego Chaves, Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ruslan Provodnikov, Joel Casamayor, Devon Alexander, Lamont Peterson, Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt, Edner Cherry, and Junior Witter.
The intangibles in this fight favor Bradley.
It should be noted that Bradley recently hooked up with Teddy Atlas to be his trainer and looked sensational in his last fight against Brandon Rios.
Pacquiao’s age and recent inactivity will be a factor in this bout. He has only fought four times since 2013 and has not looked the same since his devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. He is also coming off of a shoulder surgery and even Freddie Roach noted that Pacquiao took a little longer than usual to get into fighting shape.
Pacquaio is also running for a Senate seat in the Philippines and may be dealing with those distractions, as this is the biggest political seat he has ever ran for.
Speed is usually the first thing to go with age, and at thirty seven years old Pacquiao is clearly past his prime. He’s also not fully committed to the sport of boxing and looked very hesitant to pull the trigger in his last fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
If Pacquiao wants to continue boxing and rebuild some of that luster his name used to have, he’ll need to be a little reckless and box aggressively to go for the stoppage. Pacquiao has already reached the top of the sport and he has other endeavors that he wants to pursue, and a sport like boxing requires your full attention if you want to remain at or near the top.
Bradley is hungrier than ever, and this could spell trouble for Pacquiao.
Pacquiao might have one last thrilling fight left in his body to give his fans, but all signs point to a victory for Bradley.
What’s Next for Manny Pacquiao?
What’s next for Manny Pacquiao?
By: Matthew N. Becher
On April 9th, live from the MGM Grand Arena, one of boxing’s best is set to enter the ring for the final time in what would be a Hall of Fame caliber career. Manny Pacquiao, the “Pride of the Philippines” has announced that his rubber match against Timothy Bradley would be his farewell fight. He would look to end the debate of who is the better fighter, and Pacquiao would, for one last time, entertain the crowds that flock towards Vegas and watch on pay per view around the world. The only real question is, what’s really next for Manny Pacquiao?
Manny Pacquiao has an established career. His legacy is stellar to say the least. He is the only eight division world champion. He was named the Boxing Writers Association of America’s “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s. He has been named Ring Magazine “Fighter of the Year” three times and he has been part of some of the best fights of his era, along with the highest revenue generating sporting event of all time, in Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
Pacquiao is also an elected official in his home country, and has been for 6 years. The reason for this said “retirement” from boxing, is to focus more on his congressional duties. He is also seeking election next month in his native Philippines for a senatorial seat. This also coincides with his part time gig as a head basketball coach in the Philippine Basketball league (which he is also a player for), his occasional acting, singing and preaching careers.
The closer though that we get to the fight it seems that things have been changing. The fight, which was being sold as Pacquiao’s last, has now seen him, his promoter and even his long time trainer Freddy Roach, all hint to Pacquiao continuing in the sport after this. Could it be to drum up some publicity? This fight has not been a hot topic in the sports community, definitely not in comparison to the Pacquiao fights of years ago. Ticket sales seem to be low, as well as the overall turn out in Vegas that a Pacquiao fight used to produce. Could Manny believe that his legacy has taken a hit and he needs a bigger name than Bradley to go out on?
Manny was quoted 6 days ago on a video by FightHype.com saying “My natural weight, if you ask me, I can still make 135…natural weight is 140, 141, like that, with no diet”. Could Pacquiao be looking to drop divisions and possibly fight some younger stars? Maybe, but then both Bob Arum and Freddy Roach said they would like to see Manny against Canelo Alvarez, the middleweight champion of the world, who consistently rehydrates to 170+ during fights. Is this just another way to promote this lackluster April 9th fight? Or are they serious?
Another avenue that has been mentioned is the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. With Aiba (amateur international boxing association) toying with the idea of allowing professional boxers to represent their home countries (similar to when basketball and hockey began letting professionals play) Manny has been very active on the subject, “I’m not saying I’m going to fight or saying I’m not….I’m not closing the door. I’m thinking about it”. His trainer Freddie Roach was even asked if he would train him, if he decided to pursue the Olympics.
This all seems like a lot of “ifs” for a man that set a date and fight for his retirement a few months ago. Again, Manny seems to be surrounded by distractions and not on the one thing he should be completely focused on, fighting Timothy Bradley this Saturday. We have seen this happen before with catastrophic results (The 4th fight with Juan Manuel Marquez). This could very well be Manny Pacquiao’s last time in a professional boxing match, and we are excited to see him do what he does against Bradley. If it isn’t, well, we won’t be surprised.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao vs. Bradley III Special Edition
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao vs. Bradley III Special Edition
By: William Holmes
The following is the Special Edition Boxing Insider notebook for the upcoming Pacquiao vs. Bradley PPV fight on April 9th, 2016. The notebook will be updated periodically throughout the week.
Under the Lights: Pacquiao-Bradley Debuted April 2nd
HBO Sports, widely acclaimed for its innovative and provocative boxing programming, examines the upcoming HBO Pay-Per-View® showdown between battle-tested rivals Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley when UNDER THE LIGHTS: PACQUIAO-BRADLEY debuts SATURDAY, APRIL 2 (11:05-11:20 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: April 3 (9:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m.), 4 (5:50 a.m.), 5 (1:15 p.m.), 6 (noon, 11:15 p.m.), 7 (3:45 a.m.), 8 (7:45 p.m.) and 9 (5:30 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: April 2 (1:25 a.m.), 4 (4:45 p.m.), 7 (3:00 p.m., 8:45 p.m.), 8 (12:15 a.m.) and 9 (11:00 a.m.)
The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO On Demand, and at hbo.com/boxing, as well as other new media platforms.
Hosted by HBO Boxing commentator Max Kellerman, UNDER THE LIGHTS: PACQUIAO-BRADLEY will feature a panel that includes two future Hall of Fame fighters and HBO Boxing analysts who have experience on the sport’s biggest stage: Roy Jones Jr., a four-division world champion, and Bernard Hopkins, who has held titles in two weight classes and became the oldest champion in the sport’s history in 2013. Also participating in the roundtable conversation will be Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s Hall of Fame trainer, who will weigh in on how the eight-division champ is preparing for the rubber match in this heated rivalry.
Pacquiao Attacked Outside LA Restaurant
Manny Pacquiao was attacked by a man outside a Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles. It was reported that he was shouting curse words at Pacquiao’s direction and called him a homophobe. Pacquiao’s entourage was able to stop the man before any physical altercation could occur.
TMZ Sports Reports Pacquiao to Still Attend the Grove Despite Ban
TMZ Sports reported that Manny Pacquiao was banned from the famous Grove Shopping Center in Los Angeles, California due to his recent controversial comments against homosexuals. Howveer, pacquiao told TMZ Sports that he is going to go anyway.
Rick Caruso owns the Grove and recently stated that Pacquiao’s intolerant views weren’t welcome at his center. Pacquiao, however, refuses to acknowledge the ban and says that he’ll continue to go there with his massive entourage.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley to be Broadcast Live on Premier Sports in the UK
Premier sports will air the upcoming Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley fight in the UK. It will be the only place for British fight fans to see the fight before Pacquiao hangs up his gloves for good. Premier Sports is available on a number of platforms, including Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and online.
“I look forward to my battle with Timothy Bradley and giving boxing fans a fight they will always remember,” said Pacquiao. “This fight has a very special meaning to me and I will pour every ounce of my being — physically, emotionally and spiritually — into preparing for Bradley. “He has my full attention. I dedicate this fight to my fans and to my countrymen throughout the world who have kept me in their prayers. And as always, I fight to bring glory to the Philippines,” he said.
“I have always dedicated myself to who I am on fight night. However, on April 9th I will not only have dedicated myself to that but also delivering the performance that everyone has long awaited,” said Bradley.
Richard Sweeney, General Manager of Premier Sports, added: “We are delighted to be showing Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Timothy Bradley live and exclusive in the UK. This is going to be a fantastic fight between two of boxing’s biggest and best names. Premier Sports offers great sporting content to our subscribers and at just £9.99 represents real value-for-money. This is one fight not to be missed.”
Pacquiao, Roach, and Bob Arum Training Camp Q & A
BOB ARUM: This is a very interesting promotion as far as I’m concerned. A lot of people are concentrating on the new and improved Tim Bradley. Manny Pacquiao with his right arm now totally repaired – he has had that torn rotator cuff since before the De La Hoya fight. A lot of athletes are able to perform well with a torn rotator cuff – a lot of pitchers in the major leagues are able to perform well with it. Obviously now that it’s repaired, it is at full strength. Freddie will tell you that Manny is hitting harder with the right hand – even harder than with the left hand, so he is now going to be a real two-handed fighter which is very interesting. I think Tim Bradley’s big advantage is that he is going in with a game plan. I don’t think he had much of a game plan in the first two fights but certainly Teddy has given him one. I am very excited for my “NoTrump Undercard” with the young Hispanics contenders and I think it is resonating tremendously, particularly with the Hispanic community. I’ve done dozens of radio interviews and television programs with the Hispanic media and there is a lot of excitement.
How are tickets selling?
BOB ARUM: The Ticket situation is good. It is about what it was last time that Manny fought Bradley. There are approximately 2,00 tickets left and a lot of those will go in the last week. They are selling at a very good clip so if we don’t sell out we will have at least 14,000 people in the arena on April 9. I am still optimistic that they will all be gone by fight night.
What is your aiming point for the pay-per-view?
BOB ARUM: I really think that we have a shot to go over 700,000. I really think that Manny and Bradley will do most of the numbers, but let me tell you that my Hispanic army is marching out there and we are going to do a tremendous number from people, aside from the Pacquiao-Bradley numbers, that want to see these Hispanic stars in very, very important fights. I am pretty confident that we will do over 700,000 with a little break here and there. Maybe if Trump opens his mouth a little bit more we can go over 800,000.
Do you think Bradley will be different for this fight? What has Freddie been telling you and what do you think it will it be?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Bradley has a new trainer for this fight and a new game plan and I am very excited for that because we will see more action in the ring in this fight.
In the first two fights he was avoiding your left hook. Will you use it more this fight or less?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Right now I have been working on my right hand and my right hook which is very good. My left hand is still good, but my right shoulder is healed and that is good, because I can use it with real power.
Freddie said it took you longer to get in shape for this fight. Is that because of the layoff or the shoulder?
MANNY PACQUIAO: We had a lot of time to exercise for this fight. We had a lot of time to train and all I can say is training camp was great and I am ready for the fight and everything is great.
Do you feel like the layoff has helped you?
MANNY PACQUIAO: That is one thing, it is good to have a long layoff in boxing – I feel fresh and new and I feel good now when I train every day. I really enjoyed this training camp.
You haven’t had a KO since 2009. Is that something that weighs on your mind or frustrates you? Or do you even think about it?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, I am thinking about that. I have thinking about the last knockout that I had was in the Cotto fight and I believe the Margarito fight should have been stopped. It was a long time ago. I am thinking about it (the knockout) and that’s why I work hard. Right now it is a good thing that I had a layoff – I feel excited and fresh in my body and I will try hard for it in this fight.
Bob mentioned you’ve had a torn rotator cuff since the De La Hoya fight. Had you ever given consideration to having the surgery before since it has lingered for so long?
MANNY PACQUIAO: That fight was in 2008, so it was long ago. I still felt good and every time I rested the pain was gone.
Was it the worst in the Mayweather fight and post-Mayweather?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, in the fourth round. In the fourth round when I was throwing a lot of combinations. I hurt it coming off of one of the combinations.
It seems like you have been going back and forth regarding retirement. We know you have said you want to pursue your political career full time to assist your countrymen. Where do you stand on that right now?
MANNY PACQUIAO: After this fight I have already said that my mind is to focus on my job. If I win a Senate seat I have a big responsibility and I need to focus on that. I cannot say right now that I am going to retire. I don’t want to say that because I don’t know what the feeling is when you leave boxing. I will give it great thought when I return home.
So, you are going to have this fight, go back home and do your work and see what happens – and leave the door open?
MANNY PACQUIAO: My mind right now says to retire, but we don’t know.
Bob, have you spoken about this with Manny? What is your position?
BOB ARUM: Manny told me that he was going to retire after this fight, but I have been around this business for 50 years and a lot of fighters can’t walk away, so I am not advertising that this is going to be Manny’s last fight. It could be but then it may not be. He said he’s going back to run for Senate and if he becomes a Senator, he’ll have to decide whether to devote full time to the senate or he can work in a continuous boxing career. But again, that is going to have to be something that’s he’s going to have to decide. But one thing, for everyone on this line, I am not selling this fight as Manny’s last fight, so if he does come back after this fight – don’t say I deceived anyone.
Freddie, have you spoken about retirement with Manny following this fight? What is your position?
FREDDIE ROACH: We have talked about it a little bit. He told me he’s going to retire and I told him I think he still has some more fights left in him if he wants and he did ask me about training if he goes into the Olympics, if they let the pros in the Olympics and I said of course I will. That’s as far as we got. We didn’t talk about any fights after this. We are just concentrating on this fight right now.
Freddie, have you given any thought about not having Manny around any longer as a fighter?
FREDDIE ROACH: Of course, I will miss him. We have been together for a long time and I will go to all of his birthday parties in the Philippines and we will be friends for life.
BOB ARUM: Well, I look back on it, working with Manny, but I have been at this for a long time. Fighters retire, but the life of boxing continues. If Manny does retire, I’ll concentrate on Terence Crawford, Jessie Vargas and Gilberto Ramirez and Oscar Valdez and Jose Ramirez, Jesse Hart and a whole host of other guys, and Nonito Donaire. So again, I will look back at it like when I promoted Muhammad Ali and George Foreman – that it has been a tremendous experience and I’m grateful for it but life goes on. One thing is for sure – I ain’t retiring. You are going to have me around for another 50 years.
Manny, do you think if you had the surgery earlier you would still be in the middle of this non-KO string?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I am not sure.
FREDDIE ROACH: I am not sure. He was young enough to get through the injury. We didn’t know it was a severe injury and we worked through it. The thing is when he moved to 147 and fighting against guys that when they went into the ring weighed 160, the thing is, it’s tougher against the bigger guys. He had a lot more knockouts at 140 and 135 of course but those guys were much smaller. I think that had more of an effect than the injury.
Do you expect Bradley to bang the shoulder early to see how healthy it really is?
FREDDIE ROACH: No because I think he would be wasting his time. He doesn’t have the injury right now. We were working on it and it has been 100% great for this training camp. The surgery went well and the rehab went well and Manny is 100% at this point.
Manny, you are in the political business, what do you think about the “NoTrump Undercard?
MANNY PACQUIAO: All I know is that we have a good undercard
Bob, have you heard from anyone in the Trump organization regarding the undercard?
BOB ARUM: I don’t take their calls.
Manny, in the two fights against Tim, which did you think you did better? The one you lost or the one you won?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I think the same. I believe the same, because I won both.
Which one were you happier with?
MANNY PACQUIAO: The one that I won.
Why that that one different or better?
MANNY PACQUIAO: The difference was throwing a lot more punches. To make sure I won every round to win the fight.
Do you believe it is important for you to win this fight to carry momentum into your election back home?
MANNY PACQUIAO: It is very important to get the win for my country and the people in the Philippines, but the most important thing is a win for my country and a win for my legacy in boxing.
Do you think a win will help you in the election?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes.
What do you think about professionals fighting in the Olympics?
BOB ARUM: The idea that you will allow professional boxers into the Olympics, at this short notice, is absolutely insane. The idea that Manny Pacquiao would face off with some 17 or 18 year old kid, who has no professional experience, is not only stupid, it’s dangerous. These people ought to have their heads examined. People say that professionals play basketball. That’s true, but in basketball you can dunk over somebody, but it’s not a hurt game. In boxing, if you put experienced pros in with rank amateurs there will be serious health consequences. I don’t understand why they are now raising this issue. It makes no sense to me.
On this short notice it seems extremely unlikely it will happen…
BOB ARUM: Absolutely – extremely unlikely. Andre Ward says he wants to go to the Olympics. Many Pacquiao says he wants to got to he Olympics. Are they going to fight 17 year old kids?
Manny, if this happens, would you consider fighting in the Olympics?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, after this fight I am going back to the Philippines to do my job and if they allow me to fight in the Olympics – I am not going to say that I am going to fight or saying that I am not. I am not closing the door and I am not committing to it – I am thinking about it.
With the long layoff, did it make you realize that you don’t need boxing anymore in your life?
MANNY PACQUIAO: With the long layoff in boxing – I feel better right now – I feel fresh. A long layoff is a good thing because I was able to spend more time with my family and concentrate on helping the Philippine people.
Freddie, Teddy Atlas trains fighters to be more aggressive, how does that play to you?
FREDDIE ROACH: Well, if he will be more aggressive I will be happy for that. If his fighter fights a little harder we will fight back. Manny is ready for whatever he brings to the table. We see the adjustments he is trying to make but once Manny hits him, he will revert back to what he does best. I am not worried about Teddy Atlas, believe me.
MANNY PACQUIAO: Thank you everyone and all of the media and make sure you watch on April 9. There is going to be a lot of action in the ring and I am excited for that. Thanks you and God bless all.
BOB ARUM: I would like to make some observations. I really believe that this third fight between Manny and Timothy will be by far the best of the three fights. It will be very exciting and I believe that one way or another it is going to end in a knockout.
Also pay attention to the Arthur Abraham – Ramirez super middleweight world title fight. If Ramirez wins that fight, he will be the first Mexican to win a world title in a weight class as heavy as super middleweight and he will be one of the future stars not only in Mexico, but all over the world in boxing. Keep your eye on this kid, he’s 24, handsome, well spoken and fights well. If he wins this fight and becomes a champion, he will be a big star.
As will Oscar Valdez if he can get by Gradovich. Gradovich is a non-stop fighter and Valdez is a two-time Mexican Olympian and a real up and coming fighter.
Then there is my favorite, the farm worker. His parents came to this country to work in the fields. Jose Ramirez as a kid picked peppers in the fields at thirteen or fourteen years of age – he put himself through college, was a member of the U.S. Olympic boxing team – he fights his first ten round fight against Manny Perez, a very tough fighter from Denver. Jose is a kid to really focus on. He is a social activist. He is a spokesperson for the Latino Water Coalition, for immigration rights – he is a kid that’s going to make a difference.
I am very excited about this entire card on April 9. People are going to be tremendously entertained.
I am really putting myself out on the line to say that it will be a complete night of boxing of the best that boxing has to offer.