The welterweight title fight between champion Timothy Bradley of Palm Springs and Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico has been shifted to Oct. 12, to avoid conflict with the Sept. 14 super-welterweight title bout between unbeatens Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Bob Arum, who’s promoting Bradley-Marquez on HBO pay-per-view at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, told the Los Angeles Times on Friday that he always intended to move the bout from Sept. 14 if it turned out that Mayweather could keep the date he first made at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Mayweather (44-0), coming off an impressive technical beating of Robert Guerrero on May 4, hasn’t fought twice in this short of a time window since 2001.
But Arum, who promoted Mayweather then, said he was confident the world’s top pound-for-pound boxer would keep the Sept. 14 date if he emerged healthy from the Guerrero bout.
“I was a little surprised he chose Alvarez for the fight, but Mayweather put in first for that date … he had dibs,” Arum said. “Internally, we were prepared. September 14 is a big Mexican holiday,” Independence day, “and it makes sense with Canelo.”
Neither Marquez (55-6-1, 40 knockouts) nor Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) had begun training in earnest for the bout, and they’ll appear in Los Angeles later next month to begin promoting a fight that pits the last two men to beat Manny Pacquiao -- Marquez by a convincing knockout in December and Bradley by dubious decision last summer.
Arum said he remains hopeful the fight -- during the Major League Baseball playoffs -- will generate a strong live and pay-per-view audience.
“If Mayweather-Canelo is a good fight, it’s good for us because it keeps people enthused about boxing,” Arum said.
Arum, who’s promoted fights since the 1960s, says the Mayweather-Alvarez bout is intriguing.
“Alvarez is a big, strong kid, but I think he had a little stamina problem toward the end of his last fight,” against Austin Trout, a unanimous-decision victory, “and I think that makes Mayweather a really good favorite.
“Alvarez will be dangerous early, but he tends to run out of gas and fade and that plays right into Mayweather’s hand.”
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