Pacquiao vs. Bradley III — Loaded Dice

By Marc Livitz on April 8, 2016
Pacquiao vs. Bradley III — Loaded Dice
TV money is very big, as are the cable companies which throw out their nets to grab it.

No one asked for a third fight and not many are expected to either attend or watch, albeit not on their own credit cards, that is…

Not too long ago in the boxing periphery and not so difficult to locate is a bout which took place last September in Las Vegas. In particular, fans of the sport were not so much still full from the plate fed to them four months previously in the form of the “Fight of the Century” as they were shrugging their respective shoulders at the thought of paying any further towards lining the pockets as well as multiple garages of the game’s top seller. Furthermore, there may be an individual perhaps even in the walls of this very article who pointed out the apparent lack of interest of last September’s unwanted, unwarranted and nonsensical matchup between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Andre Berto.

In various walks of sporting events and the ticketing monopolies which continue to stifle overall progress is the fact of how the money is distributed, if not laundered in the wake of a proposed matchup. TV money is big. Very big, as are the cable companies which throw out their nets to grab it. Still, most of us don’t care and rightfully so, just want to see a good bout and not be taken to the cleaners in the process. It’s very difficult to either accomplish or avoid this goal when one is in Sin City. Add to the frustration the fact that ticket prices don’t always reflect the site fee paid by a Las Vegas casino to even host an event.

Fear not, oh legions of boxing faithful. Just as was the scenario last September, tickets for Saturday’s “I’m rubber and you’re glue” matchup between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley isn’t suffering a lack seats as much as the absence of posteriors to place within them. Take a look at the United States’ largest ticketing empire for verification. Much like last the aforementioned contest between Mayweather and Berto, there’s quite a few pretty blue dots to line the screen of one’s computer. Of course, a blue dot means an empty seat and although imitation may flatter some, in this case it comes closer to leaving a pinched nerve upon one’s frown line.

Stick yet another situation from last fall into the pugilistic copy machine and watch it spit out a variety of hotel packages which include fight tickets. Just in time for tax season, the MGM Grand must be in a giving mood. A hotel setup actually comes out to be a much better buy, just to add. Nevertheless, Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) will try to snare one more title before he retires. Across the ring, he’ll find Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs). It’s been quite interesting over the last four years watching the respective trajectories of the two elite fighters and how it’s actually quite easy to gloss over the potential for the third bout between them could be a good one.

HBO aired “Legacy on the Line” a few weeks ago in an attempt to help salvage the public’s waning opinion of a third bout between the two combatants. The program was as evenly focused on both fighters as today’s political heavyweights are in agreement over just about anything under the stars. Only stock footage was used to highlight Pacquiao’s past accomplishments and setbacks, while Bradley was pitched as the unfortunate owner of the shortest straw.

What was glaringly missed was the fact that there is no rubber match without the myopic or otherwise deaf, dumb and proud views of ringside judges of C.J. Ross and Duane Ford, respectively. They were, of course the two seasoned pairs of eyes who awarded the June 9, 2012 WBO welterweight title to the undeserving Tim Bradley. It’s not often that a rematch is needed, or more so financially necessary to right the wrongs of an official decision which starves in the hot sun in comparison to the knowledge of the boxing public.

Manny Pacquiao can go into Saturday’s bout without any real worries, monetarily speaking. Provided that he’s settled his previous tax issues, then whatever he earns in U.S. dollars will accompany him back to the Philippines and become eons more when stacked against the nation’s economy. Furthermore, the success of his bout last May against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. ensures an almost indifferent approach to one which will neither come close to a sellout nor break the ribbon of a half million pay-per-view purchases.

Although Pacquiao lost by unanimous decision to Mayweather, he did claim that a shoulder problem hindered his performance. Likewise, Bradley stated that a torn calf muscle prevented him from fighting his fight in his rematch with Manny two years ago. Each of the previously mentioned injuries are painful. They’re the type where one would possibly call out for any deity who would lend a caring ear. No one asked for a third fight and not many are expected to either attend or watch, albeit not on their own credit cards, that is.

Lastly, there are however those of us who are of the opinion that Saturday’s contest will be the best of the three, even if this boxing trilogy becomes comparable to the awful Star Wars prequel films. Pacquiao needs to go out on a high note, while Bradley needs to do his best to further his career past a sour note in regard to his history with the Philippine congressman. What will we get? If the main event doesn’t produce any fireworks, then perhaps the surprisingly stacked undercard could deliver a glimpse of a few. Either way, some of us will wait until perhaps 8:59:59, Eastern Standard Time to make a decision. To buy or not to buy? There is another pay TV contest coming up in May, after all. Invite the friends over and have them all pitch in. Otherwise, we might miss Manny’s final fight of his historic career, if we’re to believe what we’ve been told.

Regardless, the current tides of boxing fandom are seeming to teeter somewhere between indifference and downright anger. The comments left on Facebook in regard to various cable TV providers’ coverage of the fight ranges from no desire to see it all to disdain towards the company itself for dealing with someone who is now perceived by some as a homophobic individual with outdated and obtuse views of the world.

There’s yet an even bigger distraction than whether or not to attend the contest for those of us who may jet out to Vegas this weekend. Across Las Vegas Avenue from the MGM Grand sits the brand new, sparkling T-Mobile Arena. Who happens to be holding concert there this coming Friday and Saturday evening? Welcome to the Jungle, anyone? Yes, Guns N’ Roses have returned, although not with their original lineup from the late 1980s.

Go ahead and roll the dice on the fight, boxing fans. You can buy the telecast mad and end up happy or gladly click the “buy” button and end the night underneath a frowning brow. It’s a case of loaded dice.

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Legacy On The Line: From Bradley to Pacquiao – Full Show (HBO Boxing)

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  1. Mark Coonan 10:19pm, 04/08/2016

    FYI, an eon is a unit of time, Marc. Got nothing to do with money, or the enumeration of anything else but time.

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