Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Manny Pacquiao's next opponent?

It has been more than a week since Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum visited the Philippines to talk to Manny Pacquiao. Arum said that Pacquiao would select an opponent, but the week passed without the former WBO welterweight champion making a decision. There are also rumors that the fight originally scheduled for November 10 will be moved to December 1 to accommodate Pacquiao’s other engagements.

Right now, the list of possible opponents has been trimmed down to four.  Floyd Mayweatter – As always, Floyd Mayweather’s name pops up at the top of the list whenever Pacquiao selects an opponent. The problem with making this fight is that Mayweather just recently got out of jail and nobody expects him to go back to the gym to start training anytime soon. He was incarcerated for a while so expect him to spend more time with his family and friends before fighting again. An interesting factor is how Mayweather and rapper 50 Cent formed their own boxing promotion. This takes Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions out of the equation which might make the negotiations easier. Although Mayweather’s name is on the list, it’s more likely for real negotiations between Mayweather and Pacquiao to happen for a fight next year.  The boxing world has grown weary of waiting for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight to happen, but by the looks of it, more patience is needed.

Timothy Bradley – The fighter who defeated Pacquiao earlier this year is of course one of the options. Pacquiao has a rematch clause in his contract, so making this fight will be very easy. Bradley wants this fight to happen because it assures him of another big payday and Pacquiao might want another crack at Bradley for the chance to knock him out. The problem however, is that very few people are interested in seeing it. The public knows who the better fighter, is even though two boxing judges thought otherwise. Bradley is not a big name opponent as he is largely unknown outside the boxing world.  The pay-per-view sales from the Pacquiao-Bradley fight were bleak and while a rematch may generate more interest, Pacquiao and his camp are seriously looking into which fight could make the most money, as the eight division champion is down to his last handful of fights.

Juan Manuel Marquez – The Mexican legend is raring for another shot at Pacquiao, as he still believes that he won all three fights against his Filipino nemesis, to the point where he even wrote a book about it. This fight will still get interest from the public because the first three bouts between Pacquiao and Marquez have all been classics. The Mexicans want to see Pacquiao fall at the hands of hero and they know that there’s a real chance that this can happen.  

Miguel Cotto – The last and maybe most far-fetched option for Pacquiao is to fight Miguel Cotto for the second time. In their first meeting, Cotto agreed to put his WBO welterweight title on the line with a catch weight of 145 pounds. After losing to Pacquiao, Cotto revived his career in the super welterweight division. He might be willing to fight under 154 pounds for the right price, but it is highly unlikely that he’ll agree to fight at 150 pounds where Pacquiao fought Antonio Margarito. Pacquiao also expressed his apprehensions about fighting above the welterweight division so consider this a long shot.

In terms of interest, Mayweather should be the logical choice but in this crazy world of boxing, the logical things rarely happen. Marquez and Bradley have the inside track at winning the Pacquiao sweepstakes again and it will all come down to what Pacquiao really wants. If he wants to be called world champion again, he should accept that he’ll earn less money against Bradley. And in my humble opinion, that’s exactly what Pacquiao is going to do.

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