Bob Arum has recently denied rumors that Manny Pacquiao will be facing Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2014. The Filipino boxer will either be facing American Timothy Bradley in a rematch or Russian Ruslan Provodnikov.
The false report stemmed from a YouTube video published in December. However, Arum in an extensive interview with Brad Cooney of 8countnews.com, squashed the rumor saying “nothing has moved about this fight.”
“You’re going to get reports like this from time to time, but unless it comes from us or Manny. It has absolutely no substance,” Arum said a few hours after Michael Koncz, Pacquaio adviser, denied that a deal was done for the mega-fight. “The two guys that are the frontrunners are Tim Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov.”
“I've heard it both ways. Some people said the Russian would do better than a Bradley fight. Others noted Bradley is the bigger name and he would be better.” Arum added when queried of the probable pay-per-view performance of the fight.
If it’s a fight against the undefeated Bradley (31-0-0, 12 KOs), Pacquiao will get a shot in avenging his controversial loss via split decision to the American in June 2012.
If it’s against the Russian, Provodnikov (23-2-0, 16 KOs) will most likely get the heftiest payday of his career against the Filipino, whom he called a friend as both trained in the Wild Card Gym under Freddie Roach.
“If fate is giving me the opportunity, then I need to use it. To refuse a fight with such a great boxer is stupid,” the Russian said in an interview with boxscorenews.com in late December.
Bradley’s Last 5 Fights (5-0, 1 KO) Win vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (split decision) Win vs. Ruslan Provodnikov (unanimous decision) Win vs. Manny Pacquiao (split decision) Win vs. Joel Casamayor (8th round knockout) Win vs. Devon Alexander (technical decision)
Provodnikov’s Last 5 Fights (4-1, 2 KOs): Win vs. Mike Alvarado (10th round referee’s technical decision) Loss vs. Timothy Bradley (unanimous decision) Win vs. Jose Reynoso (2nd round knockout) Win vs. David Torres (6th round technical knockout) Win vs. DeMarcus Corley (unanimous decision)
Who’s the better match-up for Pacquiao in April?