Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum has denied reports that the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley rematch is a go for April, saying there are many more details that need ironing out.
Arum did admit that negotiation between the camp of Bradley (31-0 win-loss card with 12 knockouts) and Siberian Rocky Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2 card with 16 knockouts) is still going on.
“That’s the one that we’re working on now, and it may not be the one that takes place. But I believe that the issues are being narrowed down, and I’m optimistic,” Arum told Lem Satterfield of RingTV.com boxing website on Wednesday.
“But this process takes time and you can’t just make it happen. Obviously, if I didn’t think that it had a possibility of happening, then I wouldn’t bother negotiating.”
Pacquiao’s business and promotional partner Gerry Penalosa said the Saranggani congressman would definitely have a rematch with Bradley most likely on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas City.
“Yup it’s Bradley already,” said Penalosa in an interview. “Easy and revenge fight for Manny.”
Pacquiao lost to Bradley via controversial split decision in June 2012 and then absorbed another beating, when he lost to Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012 in Las Vegas. Pacquiao took almost a year of rest and returned with a majority decision win over Brandon Rios last November.
Arum, however, said everything is still up in the air.
“I’ve been involved in this business for so long that I know that until everything is agreed to, then there’s no fight. If it ends up blowing up in our face, and he ends up fighting Provodnikov, then you look like a horse’s ass,” he said.
“So the process is ongoing…It’s not done yet, and it will never get done if we don’t reach an agreement with those fighters. There are all of these points and all of these side issues. There’s no guarantee,” he added.
JOSEF T. RAMOS