Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. won’t be sharing a ring at any point in the foreseeable future, but that won’t stop them from sharing a pay-per-view provider.
In its second big conquest in as many weeks, HBO announced on Tuesday that a deal was reached with Bob Arum’s Top Rank company to handle Manny Pacquiao’s June 9 bout versus Timothy Bradley. This agreement, of course, comes just days after HBO made a similar announcement in regards to Pacquiao’s biggest rival. Last week, the biggest brand in boxing PPV distribution also came to terms with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto to host their looming May 5 showdown.
As noted by Dan Rafael of ESPN:
The announcement coincided with the day that Pacquiao and Bradley kicked off a two-city media tour in Los Angeles to promote the fight. "Manny Pacquiao's fights are always special events and we are very excited that his June 9 fight with Timothy Bradley will be presented by HBO Pay-Per-View," HBO Sports president Ken Hershman said in a statement to ESPN.com. "We look forward to working with Manny, Timothy and Top Rank on this major PPV event."
HBO’s ability to land the two biggest fights of the first half of 2012 is an indicator that their recent troubles with Pacquiao and his camp are a distant memory now. Mind you, just last year Pacquiao, Arum and the rest of his Top Rank kids packed up their toys and went to play in Showtime’s sandlot to protest the way former HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg was running the show. It was a classic case of Arum flexing his muscles – and it worked.
Greenburg got replaced (read: booted) a few months later and, eventually, the much more Top Rank-friendly Ken Hershman rose up in his place.
Barring some sort of significant setback, it’s safe to assume that Pacquiao and Arum will remain with HBO for as many fights as the Filipino champion ultimately has left in him.