ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that Bob Arum will be leaving for the Philippines later today to meet with Manny Pacquiao in order to discuss his next fight, which is scheduled for November 10th. Traveling to the Philippines to meet with Pacquiao isn’t anything new, in fact, this has become somewhat of a routine over the last few years.
The three opponents that will be presented to Pacquiao are Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, and Miguel Cotto; none of these opponents come as a surprise.
Marquez is 0-2-1 in three fights against Pacquiao, each fight was closely fought and many people believe that Marquez did enough in all 3 fights to earn the nod. The last fight was especially close, prompting many to believe that Marquez would get an immediate rematch with Pacquiao after their November 11th fight, however, that fight was given to Bradley instead.
Bradley fought Pacquiao back on June 9th and recorded an extremely controversial decision; you’d be hard pressed to find anyone outside of the 3 judges that night who thought Bradley won that fight. There was a rematch clause in the contract giving Pacquiao the option to fight Bradley again.
Cotto lost to Pacquiao via 12th round TKO back in November of 2009. The contest was fairly competitive for 4 rounds until “Pacman” eventually overwhelmed Cotto with his hand speed. That fight was fought at a catch-weight of 145lbs. Cotto was the leading candidate to receive a rematch for the June 9th fight, but the fight didn’t materialize due to the fact Cotto — who moved to 154lbs after his last fight with Pacquiao — wanted the fight at a 150lb catch-weight, while the Pacquiao camp insisted on Cotto coming back down to 147lbs.
Although the Cotto-Pacquiao fight generated roughly 1.25 million PPV buys, he’s probably the longshot to land the fight due to the fact Cotto is considering a move to 160lbs and is planning a December return date from his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. back in May.
So the choice probably comes down to either Marquez or Bradley. Pacquiao-Marquez III did about 1.3 million PPV buys, while the Pacquiao-Bradley fight did just over 900,000. The fights themselves couldn’t have been more different also. Actually, I think the discrepancy between the two fights in regards to PPV buys is a good barometer for the difference in entertainment value in both fights. The difference between the buys is equivalent to the difference between the competitive natures of each fight, maybe even greater.
The discrepancy lies with Bob Arum. If he feels that Bradley is the fight to make then that will be the fight that is made. I for one believe that Marquez deserves the fight. Bottom line, Pacquiao and Marquez will fight an entertaining fight because they’ve done so on three separate occasions. Bradley got a gift decision in a fight that he was mediocrely competitive in and I doubt the encore would be any different. Besides, we don’t need a reminder of the June 9th debacle and if Bradley gets the fight then we will be forced to relive that night on the Faceoff, 24/7, and every other platform available for the fight.
I hope Arum (I mean Pacquiao) makes the right decision; then again, I’m not sure there is such a thing in the world of grey that is boxing.