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.”