[Interview] Arum: “This Is A Very Competitive Fight”
LOS ANGELES, CA –
Bob Arum has been a busy man this week.
Along with promoting the rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley, a taped interview appeared during this week’s installment of ESPN’s ‘Friday Night Fights’. In what has now become par for the course, any mention of Manny Pacquiao ushered in mention of pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather. During the interview, Arum likened Mayweather to Adolf Hitler.
“This is like a tactic, I’m not equating the politics, it’s like Hitler,” [Arum] continued. “Before the Second World War, ‘give me Czechoslovakia, there’ll be peace,’ and this and that..and (Neville) Chamberlain (then UK Prime Minister) kept appeasing, kept appeasing…was there ever going to be peace? No. No. It’s not going to get anybody closer to that fight.”
Love or hate Mayweather, to be likened to a figure who’s legacy is synonymous with racism and genocide is pretty harsh. But back to what originally brought us here.
I spoke to Mr. Arum this past week during the Pacquiao/Bradley press conference. Arum shared his views on Bradley, his hopes on the outcome and the potential for the BIG fight.
BC: With so much controversy surrounding the outcome of the first meeting, how has the reception been since the rematch announcement?
BA: Since the announcement, the reception of this fight has been tremendous. Because people understand that this is a very competitive fight. When we did the first fight, Bradley was a decided underdog. Now it’s an even money fight in Vegas, so now there is real enthusiasm and interest.
BC: What the difference between that Bradley and today’s Bradley?
BA: Bradley was an unknown. He’d never been exposed before. Now he feels confident in himself. It’s a different Bradley that fought Pacquiao last time.
BC: Does a win for Bradley vindicate him?
BA: Most definitely. He said that himself and it certainly would. I just hope whomever wins this fight is definitive and not controversial.
BC: Shifting to Pacquiao, does a win here potentially set up a bigger fight?
BA: Well the “big big fight” who knows if that will ever happen (alluding to Mayweather). You have to understand, Pacquaio’s’ style, left handed – in and out, is not the style of fight that is good for Maywather.
BC: What do you have planned for the undercard?
BA: We pretty much have the televised portion set. Ray Beltran is fighting Rocky Martinez from Puerto Rico. Kabib Allakhverdiev is going to defend his title against Jesse Vargas and Jose Felix fights Bryan Vasquez for the lightweight title. There’s going to be two title fights plus an eliminator. Beltran/Martinez.
BC: Thank you for your time Mr. Arum
April 12th will be a day of reckoning for both Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao. What does a win/loss do for their careers at this point?
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