Manny Pacquiao is a better fighter than Timothy Bradley. Everyone knew that heading into the pair’s June 9 bout, and everyone knew it coming out. Two judges inexplicably ruling that Bradley won a match that he clearly hadn’t won did not change anyone’s perception of either man. All it did, really, was create a terrible excuse for a rematch – a rematch that 99 percent of the boxing world didn’t want to see.
Thankfully, Pacquiao decided against fighting Bradley again this December. When presented with the option of either squaring off against Juan Manual Marquez for a fourth time or Bradley a second time, he opted for option No. 1. And while seeing the same fight four times obviously has its drawbacks, most boxing aficionados recognized that this was the best option available.
The one sticking point about Pacquiao’s decision, however, was nobody really knowing why he made it. Whereas the general consensus was that Marquez got the nod because of what a weak pay-per-view (PPV) draw Bradley is, Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, fought back against that reasoning. He maintained that Manny made the decision that he made because he wanted to put on the best fight possible for fans.
“It’s all about the fans,” Koncz said last week. “Styles make fights. Manny felt there’s more entertainment value for his fans fighting Marquez rather than Bradley.”
Most fans took that with a grain of salt. Athletes love their fans, sure, but they love their money a lot more. The only thing about fans that Pacquiao and his team contemplated prior to deciding on Marquez was how many of them would be willing to dish out dough for PPVs – not what the best course of action for maximum fan enjoyment would be.
During a recent interview with Boxing Scene, Freddie Roach more or less confirmed that notion.
"[I wanted Pacquiao to face] someone else. To me [Marquez] was the third [choice]. I'd like to get that Bradley [rematch] out of the way and redeem ourselves there and all we need to go is get two new judges," Roach said, admitting that he was hoping for a different Dec. 8 showdown.
"This does [make more business sense]. Bradley sold six tickets last time and he'll sell less next time. That's about [the size] of his audience. That's why we are not fighting him, there's no business [in that fight]. There is no money in that fight.”
And there it is – the Marquez fight is happening because it makes more business sense. Not because it will be more entertaining for the fans. If the situation were reversed and Bradley was a great PPV draw but Marquez would make for the more interesting opponent, who do you think Pacquiao would have selected as his next foe?
Again, it’s fine. We all understand that this is a business. But it would just be nice if these folks didn’t put on an act. Everyone knows what’s what. Everyone knows that money is the most important thing.
Just be honest with the fans – they won’t hold it against you.