By Keith Idec
Bob Arum confirmed that the unthinkable, even for boxing, will not occur.
The Hall-of-Fame promoter stressed Wednesday that there will not be two pay-per-view boxing events Sept. 14, preventing what would be a severe disservice to fighters, fans, promoters, premium cable companies and anyone else interested in the health of the boxing business. Arum is open to moving the Juan Manuel Marquez-Timothy Bradley pay-per-view card from Sept. 14 to an October date if Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights Sept. 14, but Arum also said that he won’t move Marquez-Bradley if anyone other than Mayweather, including Mexican sensation Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, is the headliner of another proposed Sept. 14 pay-per-view show.
“They say [Sept. 14 is reserved] for Mayweather,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “But if Mayweather fights a non-Hispanic, like Devon Alexander, why the hell is he screwing around on a date that’s a Mexican holiday? That’s wrong. He shouldn’t do that, but we don’t think Mayweather is going to fight Sept. 14 anyway. So we have an alternate date, if we have to move, but if Mayweather isn’t fighting then that’s our date and we’re going to fight that night.”
Before seriously considering fighting Sept. 14, Mayweather must defeat Robert Guerrero on May 4 in Las Vegas and exit their WBC welterweight title fight injury-free.
Arum added that cable and satellite company executives have assured him that they won’t allow a non-Mayweather pay-per-event to take precedence over Marquez-Bradley on Sept. 14. Mexican fighters often fight on or near Mexican Independence Day (celebrated Sept. 16) and Marquez’s popularity among Mexicans is at an all-time high after his one-punch destruction of Manny Pacquiao in their fourth fight Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
Mayweather has twice fought on nights near Mexican Independence Day, but both bouts came against Mexican or Mexican-American fighters (Marquez in 2009 and Victor Ortiz in 2011).
Arum acknowledged, however, that it’s bad for the boxing business to even consider scheduling competing pay-per-view events for Sept. 14, or any other night.
“The cable companies would allow it, but it’s stupid,” Arum said. “[Cable and satellite executives are] going to pick the event that makes the most sense, and the other one, if they go the same night, no one’s even going to know they’re going. So there will be only one pay-per-view event that night.”
Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and Golden Boy Promotions infamously staged competing cards Sept. 15 in Las Vegas, but only the Top Rank/HBO card headlined by the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez middleweight title fight at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center was a pay-per-view event. Golden Boy’s show, headlined by Alvarez and Josesito Lopez, was televised live on Showtime from MGM Grand.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.