by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum plans on staging a tournament among four exciting fighters in the welterweight division with eight division champion Manny Pacquiao, Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez, hard-hitting Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios and WBO welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley in the mix.
Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard - “I’ve got four guys and after the March 30 rematch between Rios and Mike Alvarado they will sit down with me and we’ll figure this thing out.”
He said “Manny might fight Rios if he beats Alvarado or he might fight Bradley in a rematch or Marquez in a fifth fight. I’ve got four attractive fighters and we'll mix and match them.”
He said the Rios-Alvarado fight is bound to be another war following their first “Fight of the Year” type rumble which Rios won by a stunning 6th round stoppage and that the Bradley-Ruslan Provodnikov clash last weekend “went very, very well and turned out to be a tremendous fight” in which Bradley won a close unanimous decision after being dropped in the dying seconds of the final round.
During a conference call to promote the Rios-Alvarado rematch, Arum said the fans “want to see action. Alvarado and Rios are action fighters. Bradley showed he’s an action fighter. They don’t play around. They don’t dance around. They fight. That’s what the public wants to see. Marquez is an action fighter. Pacquiao is an action fighter. We’ll mix and match as we go on because they are the big fights people want to see.”
Arum said “we have tremendous fights over the next three weeks” including the blockbuster card in Macau where WBO/WBA flyweight champion Brian Viloria will defend his titles against tough Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada and two-time Olympic flyweight gold medalist and three-time world champion Zou Shiming of China will make his professional debut and the battle between WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and WBA champion and former two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux on April 13 in New York.
Arum noted that the rhetoric in the Donaire-Rigondeaus fight has reached new heights and “it should be a helluva fight.”
Arum also disclosed that Marquez will be in Las Vegas on March 30 and they will leave the next day for Macau. While he was not certain that Pacquiao will show up because of the on-going election campaign where his wife Jinkee is running for vice governor and brother Rogelio faces an uphill struggle against Darlene Antonino Custodio for the congressional seat in General Santos City, Arum indicated “looks like Manny will come over for the weekend because the Venetian Resort Hotel is sending a plane for him.”
Asked to comment on his promotional showdown with Golden Boy, who was junked by HBO Sports after helping bring the Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero bout to Showtime, a supremely confident Arum said “it’s no contest.”