MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank chief Bob Arum has branded Manny Pacquiao’s rematch with Timothy Bradley on April 13 as the Filipino’s most important fight since his showdown with Oscar Dela Hoya in 2008.
In an interview with Gareth Davis of The Telegraph, Arum said Pacquiao, although a favorite, still faces risks in taking on Bradley. Against Dela Hoya in 2008, Pacquiao was a huge underdog but shocked the world when he stopped “The Golden Boy” after eight one-sided rounds.
Pacquiao had already lost to Bradley in their first meeting two years ago, and Arum thinks getting payback would be tough for the fighting congressman.
“Of course it [fight] is risky. Why would people buy tickets or pay-per-view for a fight that didn't have a degree of risk? If it’s something that we know what the outcome is going to be, why the hell would people bother?” said Arum.
Pacquiao’s age, Arum added, could be a factor. The General Santos City-based southpaw is 35 years old and has been boxing professionally for almost 20 years.
“He’s going to try and he’s training very diligently and is very confident but remember Manny isn’t getting any younger, and Bradley has been a terribly, terribly underrated fighter his entire career. Can Manny pull it out? Yeah, probably, but it’s not going to be easy,” he continued.
The Dela Hoya fight was considered as Pacquiao’s ticket to superstardom, and the Filipino boosted his crossover appeal after the remarkable win. The Bradley fight, Arum insists, is crucial as well.
“Whether he [Pacquiao] ever fights Floyd Mayweather or doesn’t fight Mayweather, this is the most important fight of Manny’s career, next to the Oscar De La Hoya fight,” Arum ended.