Bradley to Pacquiao: You better be ready




01:08 AM April 11th, 2014

By: Roy Luarca, April 11th, 2014 01:08 AM

Profiles of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao and American Timothy Bradley, ahead of their match in Las Vegas on April 12. AFP

LAS VEGAS—Just when their final press conference was about to wrap up without fireworks, Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao lit up some sparks.

During their face-off, the loudmouth Bradley initiated the verbal exchange that lasted for 10 seconds at the center of Hollywood Theatre at MGM Grand here Wednesday.

Pacquiao answered back with nary a pause.

Nobody heard them talking, but it reportedly went like this:

Bradley: Are you ready?

Pacquiao: Yes, I am ready.

Bradley: Are you sure you’re ready?

Pacquiao: Yes, I am ready.

Bradley: You better be ready.

Pacquiao: Yes, I am ready.

Then they stared at each other without blinking and shook hands before heading back to their corners.

Disgusted Arum

If there was genuine hatred between the protagonists for the World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the MGM Grand Arena here, they acted good enough to hide it.

Venerable promoter Bob Arum couldn’t hide his disgust with MGM officials for a serious affront they committed.

Instead of Pacquiao-Bradley II being displayed all over the hotel and casino, it was the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-versus-Marcos Maidana tussle on May 3 that was being shown.

2-1 favorite

The 82-year-old Arum said Pacquiao-Bradley was a much more competitive fight, with sports book putting the eight-division world champion from the Philippines a 2-1 favorite.

In contrast, oddsmakers have installed Mayweather a 15-1 favorite over Maidana.

Only the fact that the grudge rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley, to be shown on HBO pay-per-view (PPV), was sure to be a sellout put a smile back on Arum’s face.


PPV superstar

According to Arum, only about a thousand tickets are left and they are sure to be gobbled up in the last three days.

HBO’s Mark Taffet lauded Pacquiao as a PPV superstar.

Taffet said Pacquiao’s 18 PPV fights have generated a total of 12.2 million buys for a whopping $660 million in revenues.

With Pacquiao-Bradley II expected to hit a million buys, Pacquiao should breach the $700 million mark.

Fight of the Year?

WBO president Paco Valcalcel said it could be the Fight of the Year.

Bradley’s showdown with Ruslan Provodnikov was also explosive enough for the Fight of the Year award.

Pacquiao, who is guaranteed $20 million, will be making his 11th appearance at MGM Grand, while Bradley, who’s guaranteed $6 million, will be making his third.

Next fight in Macau

In their first fight, Pacquiao got $25 million while Bradley pocketed $5 million.

With Top Rank’s relationship with MGM strained, Arum intends to bring Pacquiao’s next fight to The Venetian in Macau in November.


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