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Bob Arum: Tim Bradley not ready for the big time

It's not that Top Rank boss doesn't think Tim Bradley isn't an excellent fighter.

The same goes for Paul Williams, Devon Alexander, Amir Khan or any other brash young fighter wanting a shot at the likes of Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. The problem is, according to Arum, none of the aforementioned fighters have enough of a following or could sell enough tickets to warrant such a big time prize fight.

Arum made the point during his 3 a.m Saturday morning conference call explaining why the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight isn't likely to happen on November 13.

"The problem with a guy like Tim Bradley is that even though you and I know what a superb fighter he is, the public really doesn’t know Arum said.

It's a point well taken. Bradley improved his record to 26-0 with a sound win over Luis Carlos Abregu last night at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, California. Bradley is arguably the best 140-pounder in the world and would do well as a welterweight.

But take a moment and read the last paragraph. He's fighting at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, California. A fighter of his caliber should be fighting at the MGM Grand, the Mandalay Bay or Madison Square Garden by now.

At the very least Bradley could be headlining shows at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The same goes for Alexander, Khan and some of the other young talented fighters with gaudy records.

The bottom line is Arum doesn't want to carry the entire promotional load.

Arum continued: "We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building up our fighters and publicizing them so they are pay-per-view attractions. Losing money on a lot of events making them. The other promoters don’t really promote their fighters. They take money form HBO or Showtime or a little Indian casino and they think they’re doing the kid a big service. I’m not going to give them a free ride on the work we have done."

That's a powerful statement from Arum. While it may sound harsh, he's right on the money. When an Arum fighter is headlining a bout, the entire world will hear about it in the months and weeks leading up to the bout. That's not always the case with other promoters.

There are some exceptions. Golden Boy Promotions has turned into a machine. Lou DiBella does an excellent job, particularly with his New York-area fighters. The same can't be said with other promoters.

Why doesn't Paul Williams have another opponent yet? Williams is a 28-year-old fighter who should have a big future. But his lack of a following has held him back from the big-money fights.

Bradley called out Pacquiao after his win over Luis Carlo Abregu last night. But he's not a house hold name, which wouldn't draw a big pay-per-view crowd. Could a fight like that be made eventually? Of course it could. Bradley has built an impressive resume with wins over Junior Witter, Kendall Holt and Nate Campbell.

But Bradley's promoter, Gary Shaw, needs to get his name out there. If Alexander beats Andriy Kotelnik on August 7, it would put the two on a collision course. If that is the case, both sides need to pour all the resources they can into promoting that fight. And they need to get HBO on board in a big way.

The winner of a fight like that would have a chance at landing a big-money bout with Pacquiao or Mayweather. They could even put them in a fight with Miguel Cotto. Cotto's career took a bit of a hit after losses to Margarito and Pacquiao, but he still has a name. His fight against Yuri Foreman at Yankee Stadium drew over 20,000 fans.

None of this is going to happen until some of these promoters

 

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