Arum copies UFC producing pace

Check this article from Las Vegas Sun. Bob Arum commenting on the pacing of the card for Pacquiao vs Solis. Says only reason UFC does well is cuase of pacing of the fightcard.


Tonight's match to feature the vibe of a UFC event

By Jeff Haney
Las Vegas Sun

Tonight's pay-per-view boxing match featuring Manny Pacquiao against Jorge Solis might look and sound familiar - especially to fans of major league mixed martial arts, promoter Bob Arum said.

Arum, whose Top Rank Inc. is producing the card from San Antonio, freely acknowledged he plans to rely on the fast pace, driving music and other high-energy production values that have been embraced by mixed martial arts organizations such as the wildly popular Ultimate Fighting Championship.

"We realize there's a crisis in boxing, and one of the reasons is that the cable networks are still covering boxing the same way they did 30 years ago," Arum said. "There are too many pauses. There are too many stretches between fights where everybody is sitting around doing nothing. There's too much time where the announcers are sitting around pontificating and everybody is getting bored."

Arum said he designed tonight's pay-per-view card (6 p.m., $44.95) so viewers would find each of the four fights appealing - much like in the UFC, where enthusiastic fans fill the arena for the entire undercard rather than waiting around for the main event.

Before 2006 fighter of the year Pacquiao (43-3-2, 34 knockouts) risks his super featherweight belt against Solis (32-0-2, 23 KOs), Brian Viloria and Edgar Sosa will fight for the world mini-flyweight title; Jorge Arce will meet Cristian Mijares for the world super flyweight championship; and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will take on Tony Shuler.

"I believe boxing is a lot more exciting than mixed martial arts or the UFC, but the presentation of the UFC is so much better than boxing," Arum said. "My competition (as a pay-per-view producer) is not HBO. My competition is the UFC. This show will demonstrate that boxing can be presented in a way that's every bit as exciting and energetic as the UFC - and our product is better."

Virtually "half the Philippines" has descended on the Alamodome, Arum said, to follow Pacquiao, who is campaigning for Congress in his native country. The election is May 14.

"There's a lot of people who are poor," Pacquiao said. "They need my help because there are some politicians that are always promising, and they (don't) do anything."

Two years ago Arum was dissing the UFC every chance he had. Now he admits he's taking a cue from it.

A good idea, except charging that much for that card pretty much ruins the whole concept of drawing more fans.

The price aside, the whole event moved fast, like Pride 32. Plus all the fights were pretty action packed, with 2 knockouts. The undercard actually featured boxers i liked and recognized. Much like how MMA cards feature undercard matches the fans actually care about in addition to main event.

But... and this is a very big but... the success of last night's Pacquiao card IMO was the ethnic appeal. Pretty much a Filipino and Mexican heavy pool of ppv buyers i bet. It seemed like that from the live audience.

Playing the ethnic angle won't work in MMA, yet.