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Arum: Pacquiao undercard will be all-Hispanic reply to Trump

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Manny Pacquiao, center left, and Timothy Bradley Jr. pose during a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. today.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. >> Boxing promoter Bob Arum plans to make a statement against Donald Trump with an all-Hispanic undercard on his next big pay-per-view show.

Arum said Tuesday that he will feature all Hispanic fighters on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s third meeting with Timothy Bradley on April 9 in Las Vegas.

Arum calls it “the Donald Trump undercard.”

Arum is no fan of the Republican presidential contender’s calls for a wall on the US-Mexico border and the deportation of an estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally.

“I want them to know there are a lot of people that have their back and are not going to allow them to be deported,” Arum said. “And if Trump got elected, I would be in the streets with them protesting.”

The Harvard-educated Arum has a long background of political awareness mixed with boxing, dating to his early days in the sport as a promoter for Muhammad Ali.

He also realizes that Mexican-Americans are the backbone of his sport’s fan base, and Mexico-based beer companies typically are among the biggest sponsors of his megafights whether or not they feature Mexican fighters.

Among the top Latino prospects expected to appear on the still-to-be-determined Pacquiao-Bradley undercard at the MGM Grand Garden Arena are Mexican featherweight Oscar Valdez, Mexican-American U.S. Olympian Jose Ramirez and Mexican middleweight Gilberto Zurdo Ramirez.

Before the 84-year-old Arum began his boxing career in 1965, he was a lawyer in the U.S. Justice Department during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

The Top Rank founder has been among the sport’s top promoters for the ensuing half-century, promoting major fights for the likes of Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Julio Cesar Chavez and Pacquiao, the second-biggest current star in the sport.

Arum’s plan for the Pacquiao-Bradley undercard evolved from both political conviction and showmanship — and in classic Arum style, it might not end up being entirely accurate.

Shortly after vowing to put on an all-Hispanic undercard, Arum acknowledged he is hoping to put a fight on the card for Evgeny Gradovich, a Russia-born former featherweight champion.

The hook is that Gradovich’s brawling, courageous style has earned him the nickname “The Mexican Russian.”

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