Pacquiao vs Clottey | Pacquiao vs Clottey News | Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates | Road to Dallas Pacquiao vs Clottey by HBO | Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming

Mayweather vs Ortiz Online Live Streaming

Mayweather vs Ortiz Online Live Streaming, News and Updates, Mayweather Ortiz 24/7

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

After Arum and Jones comes Lester Bedford in importance for Pacquiao vs. Clottey

Dallas Boxing Examiner | Matt Stolow

DALLAS - Everyone knows the "big two" promoters for the Manny Pacquiao vs Joshua Clottey fight at Cowboys Stadium on March 13th -- Hall of Fame boxing promoter, Bob Arum and Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones. But behind the scenes, comes the name of Fort Worth, Texas resident Lester Bedford, who's company (The Bedford Agency) is serving both promoters on the management and marketing sides of the event.

Bedford is no stranger to promoters and television networks, having been a driving force in over 400 boxing events, including more than 100 world title fights. He's also done work in NBA basketball, MMA, soccer, tennis and baseball, but he's found his niche in helping produce successful live gate events for boxing events since 1981. Along the way, he also found time to manage former two-time World Champion, Jesse James Leija, of San Antonio and now represents #1 World Rated Jr. Featherweight, Antonio Escalante, of El Paso.

Included on his resume are events for both Manny Pacquiao fights in Texas -- against Marco Antonio Barrera and Jorge Solis respectively, at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

He was also the man steering the live gate ship for Oscar De La Hoya's two bouts in Texas against David Kamau (San Antonio) and Patrick Charpentier (El Paso). It was Bedford who prodded Arum, the City of El Paso and investors to put De La Hoya in the El Paso Sun Bowl in 1998. His vision paid off when the fight drew 47,000 in the outdoor venue.

The crowning achievement for Bedford was the 1993 classic between Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell Whitaker at the San Antonio Alamodome which also drew 65,000. So when it comes to big fights, he has been there an done that, which gave him every reason to see Cowboys Stadium as the next big thing in boxing.

Simply put, if its boxing, big, in Texas and happened in the past 25 years, you can bet that Bedford was at the heart of it.

"I can't tell you how many times I drove by the new Cowboys Stadium during the construction phase," said Bedford. "All I could think about was how great it would be for a major boxing event to land there. Then one day, I just took the initiative to call the Cowboys and arrange a meeting to discuss any and all possibilities."

That was over a year ago when Bedford sat down with Jones' son Stephen and Cowboys VP Chad Estis. In that meeting, he discovered Jerry Jones and the Cowboys had genuine interests in not just hosting Super Bowls and NBA All-Star games, but also World Championship Boxing. "I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Jerry and Stephen were huge boxing fans and more importantly, they envisioned hosting major boxing events at the Stadium."

Following that meeting of fate with Jones and Estis, Bedford then took the idea to Arum and Golden Boy Promotions, CEO, Richard Schaefer. "As Boxing's two biggest promoters, I thought it was important to get to them immediately and start to process of them making them aware of the stadium and also, the Cowboys' interests," noted Bedford.

Arum was immediately receptive, according to Bedford and the courtship between he and the Cowboys began with a conference call with the younger Jones and Estis. "Bob was very interested, but I knew he would be. He's a man of great vision and he knows how big of an opportunity it is land a big fight in venue like this. Don't forget, he's the guy who put (Muhammad) Ali in the Houston Astrodome when it opened and later, the Louisiana Super Dome. He understands the historic significance of it all."

As for Schaefer, who represents Oscar De La Hoya's promotion company, he wasn't quite as receptive. "I really prefer not to discuss details, but lets just say I tried on many occasions to get his interest and he wouldn't take a phone call or agree to meet with the Cowboys," Bedford reluctantly elaborated. "But that's their choice. Golden Boy has been very successful and Richard has been a huge reason. He's a smart businessman, so I'm sure somewhere down the road, they'll be interested in Cowboys Stadium. Heck, I'd like to see Oscar come out of retirement and have him fight there. I wouldn't hate him for it."

Schaefer apparently didn't have any interest when negotiations were going on for the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight. If memory serves me correct, it was Schaefer who pulled out of a visit to Cowboys Stadium when he, Arum and HBO President, Ross Greenburg were to meet with Jerry Jones about hosting the fight. Amazingly, Schaefer bailed at the last minute quickly vowed his loyalty to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where the fight was eventually headed before it collapsed.

As Pacquiao/Mayweather was collapsing, Bedford was on the horn with Arum and the Cowboys, trying to shake trees to bring Pacquiao to Cowboys Stadium. "Once I realized there was trouble with that fight, my first thought was to have the Cowboys ready to go with an offer for Pacquiao if and when it fell apart. When it did, Jerry was on the phone with Bob immediately and next thing you know, Bob's at the Cowboys vs Eagles playoff game and the next day, the deal was done."

As fate had it, Pacquiao now finds himself getting ready to fight Clottey in front of 40.000 - 50,000 fans at Cowboys Stadium. And the guy in the middle for Jones and Arum is the man who wouldn't let it die --Bedford. Now, it looks as though his hunch about Cowboys Stadium is coming to fruition.

"In the end, it looks as though this fight at Cowboys Stadium will do exactly what I thought it would. Not only will it be a huge success as a one time event, but also a monster shot in the arm for boxing," he said.

"After all the negative publicity over the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight collapsing, this epic scene, broadcast to millions of people, will be the one thing that can heal the sport and bring everyone back together, including fans. For all of us in boxing, it will be a proud day, much the same as it was for the NBA during and after their All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium. This is something we can stick our chest out and feel good about."

Bedford has been busy doing what he does to help make events successful. He's behind the scenes helping in many areas in regard to the management and marketing of the event.

With his big event experience and understand of the boxing fan, he has to be a valuable sounding board for both Top Rank and Jones' Cowboys. And as everyone knows, he's tireless worker and perfectionist when it comes to making an event a success. And, he's feeling fortunate these days.

"It's an absolute honor for me to be working with the Cowboys and Top Rank on such a historic event," concluded Bedford. "Bob Arum is a Hall of Famer in Boxing and Jerry Jones will end up in the NFL Hall of Fame, and rightfully so. They simply get - IT. They understand people and what moves them. They are visionaries that are willing to take risks. And both have great staffs to work with. They know how to delegate responsibility to those they trust to make their visions work. That's what great businessmen do. "

"But most importantly for all of us on this particular promotion -- we have a great fighter to promote in Manny Pacquiao. He's relevant in this business and people will pay to see him fight, especially against a respected fighter like Clottey. No matter how good a job myself, Top Rank or the Cowboys do, or how great the stadium is, what I have learned over the years is -- the fighters have to have the juice to inspire fans to buy tickets. And Manny Pacquiao is one of those rare fighters that has the juice. Put a fighter like Pacquiao in the greatest stadium in the world and you have a big, big winner, for all, including for boxing."


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Fighter's Record

Manny Pacquiao Profiles, Statistics and Records
Joshua Clottey Profiles, Statistics and Records