Top Rank CEO Bob Arum called Wednesday night’s 24/7 spoof during Manny Pacquiao’s seventh appearance on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show “the best thing they could have done” in advance of Pacquiao’s fourth bout with Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“Something like that is so invaluable in promoting a fight. It gets to an audience that isn’t necessarily into boxing. There’s no telling what effect it has,” said Arum
“Everything is cumulative in this day and age. So you don’t know. It’s like an election. You don’t know exactly what’s responsible for how many votes. It’s a whole cumulative effect, but it’s the best thing they could have done.”
The segment featured cameos by Marquez, Arum, trainer Freddie Roach, ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna and even Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, during a parody of HBO’s 24/7 series, which had Pacquiao being avoided for fights three times by Kimmel’s overweight sidekick, Guillermo Rodriguez.
“It was unbelievable. It was really hilarious. Really funny. They had a whole crew there and they did it professionally. They gave us cue cards and it only took maybe two seconds for me to say what they wanted me to say,” said Arum.
“So I did, I guess, one take, and then they wanted me to do another one just in case. I didn’t stay for the rest of it. I left. … He’s a nice guy, this Guillermo Rodriguez. He’s a fun guy.”
RICKY HATTON, VYACHESLAV SENCHENKO MAKE WEIGHT
Former junior welterweight champ Ricky Hatton (45-2, 32 knockouts), of England, and ex-WBA welterweight titleholder Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-1, 21 KOs), of Ukraine, each weighed 146.5 pounds for Saturday’s Showtime-televised clash at the already sold-out Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Hatton, 34, will be ending a layoff after having lost two of his past four fights by brutal knockouts to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao in December of 2007 and May of 2009, respectively.
Hatton, whose last fight was against Pacquiao, has endured an ongoing battle to overcome depression, drug addiction and suicidal thoughts.
In Senchenko, 35, Hatton faces a man whose last fight was April’s ninth-round knockout loss to current WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi, whom Hatton stopped in the 11th-round in November of 2008 — one fight prior to facing Pacquiao.
Hatton-Sencheko will happen on a special afternoon edition of Showtime Championship Boxing at 5:00 p.m. ET/PT, marking Hatton’s first time fighting on the American network since he won THE RING, WBA and IBF junior welterweight belts by 11th-round knockout over recent Hall-of-Fame inductee Kostya Tszyu in June of 2005. An evening replay of the fight will air on Showtime Extreme Saturday.
There are also potential bouts looming opposite English countrymen such as former IBF and WBA junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan or unbeaten welterweight contender Kell Brook. If he is able to beat Senchenko, Hatton says he would love a rematch with Malignaggi.
SENCHENKO ANSWERS SIX QUESTIONS
“I’m not looking that far yet, because when I win this fight, I will be in contention for some of the biggest fights out there,” said Senchenko. “I could fight Amir Khan if I win, but right now, I’m concentrating on this fight. I’ll have to see what to do next.”
Senchenko also answered six questions in an interview conducted and distributed by Showtime:
Hatton is coming off a 3½ year layoff. Do you think you’re catching him at the right time?
“When I made the decision to fight Ricky I did it expecting the best Ricky Hatton. We know Ricky wouldn’t have come back if he wasn’t at his best – that’s just how boxing is.
“Ricky wouldn’t have taken the risk if he didn’t think he was 100 percent. So we’re expecting a very hard fight. We’re expecting the best Ricky Hatton, a prime Ricky Hatton.”
“I’m very excited that I’m going to Manchester to fight in front of a huge crowd. I had a great camp and prepared the way I always do. It’s an opportunity to shine and show the British my skills.
“Sure, there will 18,000 Ricky Hatton fans, but once I’m in the ring it’s just me and Ricky. The fans aren’t in there with him.”
“When I fought Paulie everything went well in the beginning and then I got injured and I couldn’t apply the plan we had scheduled in training. I couldn’t do what I wanted to do.
“It was a one-time thing because of the injury. I had a good training camp and was able to prepare well, but I got injured. Those things happen in boxing.
“I thought I fought well but I just couldn’t see anything because the eye was completely closed. Of course, Paul was an odd boxer to fight.
“Ricky’s fighting style suits me better. I believe it will be a better fight for me. I’ve had a great camp and I’m ready to get back into the limelight with a win.”
What were the main reasons you accepted the fight against Hatton in England?
“This is the way to come back in the limelight – to beat one of the most popular boxers in the world. It would bring me back in the top position, worldwide. If I beat Ricky then I can get another shot at a title.
“Once you’re in the ring it’s just you and the opponent. The challenge is to show the 18,000 that I’m the best boxer in the ring.
“And the fact that the fight is televised in the U.S. on Showtime makes it even better. The stakes are higher now.”
Can you tell us the keys to victory?
“We need a good jab, a good jab when the opponent comes in — and good legs and sharp punching. I’m an old-school, classical boxer so I need to be able to control the fight.
“I like boxers that come in rather than run away. If I can dictate the pace and not allow Ricky to get into a rhythm, I should be able to execute my strategy and do what I prepared for in camp.”
“I’ve got to fight my own game plan. I’m not looking for a knockout; I’m looking for a good, technical fight. A good, distance fight. If I can stop the fight early on that would be good, but I’ll take the points.
“As long as I don’t get injured I should be fine. There’s no problem with the eye, it was a one-time thing with Paulie. I’ve never had another problem since.”
FERNANDO MONTIEL FACES GIOVANANNI CARO
Former WBC and WBO bantamweight beltholder Fernando Montiel (48-4-2, 37 KOs) will pursue his third-straight victory against Mexican countryman Giovanni Caro (24-11-4, 19 KOs) on Saturday at Gimnasio Municipal “Jose Neri Santos,” Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Montiel, 33, last suffered defeat in November of last year against Mexico’s Victor Terrazas (35-2-1, 21 KOs) by unanimous decision after being floored in the fifth round by a man who has won nine straight fights, eight of them by knockout.
The loss to Terrazas ended a streak of three, consecutive knockout wins by Montiel, whose previous loss to that had been in February of last year by second-round knockout to Nonito Donaire, costing Montiel his titles and ending a 11-0-1 unbeaten run that had included nine knockouts.
A three-division titlewinner before facing Donaire, Montiel entered that bout having scored a sensational fourth-round knockout over Hozumi Hasegawa, who at the time was on a 25-fight winning streak.
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photos by Mark Robinson, Showtime
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com