Dana White, President of the UFC will talk openly about any topic and as a result he had some fascinating insights to share regarding Manny Pacquiao’s knockout defeat against Juan Manuel Marquez during their December 8th matchup.
Dana’s opinion of the subject is that Bob Arum, the CEO of Top Rank Promotions made a bad move scheduling Pacquiao for a fourth matchup with Marquez. The logic behind this is that there were easier options available for the Filipino congressman.
As far as the business aspect is concerned White’s point is a valid one, taking into account Pacquiao didn’t do all that well in his most recent two fights before December 8th, securing a controversial split-decision in his match against Marquez and then running into some bad luck in his match with Timothy Bradley on June 9th, somehow finding himself on the losing end of a decision most fans felt he should’ve won.
Pacquiao clearly wasn’t doing as well as he had been a few years ago and so setting up a match with a person most people in the boxing community believed had bested him in their first few fights was unwise.
At this point Pacquiao has been defeated consecutively for the first time in his career meaning he no longer has much chance of arranging a super-fight with Floyd Mayweather at least without being willing to ask “how high?” each time Floyd says “jump” in upcoming negotiations.
The choice by Arum to pit Pacquiao against a competitor who has already proven himself more than a match for him will be criticized for some time, especially taking into account that Bradley was strongly pushing for a rematch.
Bradley and Manny’s pay-per-view fight in June was hardly record setting with only 950,000 buyers; however it’s not a stretch to conclude that a rematch between the two would have sparked more interest. When the Judges handed the welterweight title over to Bradley, they made him the most hated individual in the Philippines, even more so than Mayweather. Because of this, a rematch would have brought the Filipino fan-base out to watch their champion take back what’s rightfully his.
While on paper, the fourth matchup of Marquez and Pacquiao seems the most profitable move, the actual pay-per-view purchases barely peaked 1 million where as a rematch with Bradley would have done just as well if not better.
Don’t think this means I’ll be letting White off the hook. White has always been critical of Arum and promoters like him for not setting up the best fights possible. Because of this it’s a bit hypocritical to blame “Uncle Bob” for going with the more challenging fight. Dana frequently asserts that the mission of the UFC is to provide mixed martial arts (MMA) fans with the best fights they can arrange, despite the fact that he obviously is in favor of protecting the big earners.
Original article written by David King
Rewritten by Chauncey Kent