Manny Pacquiao fighting Miguel Cotto at the end of 2012 seems like it’s becoming an increasingly likely possibility. After months of speculation and a whole lot of talk about showdowns against Timothy Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez, the Filipino champ sounds like he is completely and totally disinterested in a late-year match against anyone aside from perhaps Cotto.
The obvious question everyone would have if Pacquiao did in fact decide to fight Cotto in December would be: what happens next?
What happens as far as the champ’s next move, and what happens with his much-discussed potential foes?
The first question is easy to answer. If Pacquiao fights Cotto he’ll likely beat him, rest up for a few months, and then take on Floyd Mayweather Jr. next April or May. There are really no other viable options for him. The second question, initially, seemed like it would be tougher to answer. Maybe it actually isn't, though.
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According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, people are currently working on a Plan B that is really, really interesting – a fight between Marquez and Bradley.
"It's a fight we've been talking about -- me, Bradley, Bob and Todd," Dunkin told Rafael. "They tell me that Marquez and [promoter Fernando] Beltran have been talking about it, too, as a possibility.
"I'm not saying it's happening. What I'm saying is that it's a fight that's very interesting and a fight that everyone seems to love. Manny is the boss with the date and the opponent. It's his call and we're all waiting on him. But if both of these guys [Bradley and Marquez] are free, that's a fight we would love and would go further in pursuit of. And I think Marquez and Beltran feel the same way about fighting Tim. Top Rank told us Marquez is very interested in the fight."
As he should be. This would be a great bout for both Marquez and Bradley. Obviously it wouldn't be better for either guy than taking on Pacquiao from a financial standpoint, but, from a fight quality standpoint, this might be the best option we've heard up to this point. And, for what it’s worth, all involved seem to understand that.
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"We will wait and see how this all plays out with Manny, but a Bradley-Marquez fight is a fight we've talked about for Timmy if he doesn't get Pacquiao again," Dunkin said. "It's a good pay-per-view, and both Bob and Todd agreed and said they'd be interested in doing it. It's a fight we were really intrigued with, so we were talking about it."
So Bradley and Marquez are good – but where does a potential Pacquiao versus Cotto showdown stand? It’s tough to say. Here is the latest on that via Boxing Scene:
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is waiting for a proposal from the camp of Miguel Cotto before a final decision is made by “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao on who he will face in an HBO pay-per-view main event on December 1 or December 8, confirming several reports on BoxingScene.com regarding the target dates. Arum is confident that Pacquiao will fight on one of the two presented dates.
The smartest course of action right now would appear to be this: a.) Pacquiao fighting Cotto and b.) Bradley and Marquez putting on a show of their own in November. Will that actually happen? It's tough to say. Frankly, if it meant a showdown versus Mayweather was definitely going to happen, everyone would probably be okay with Pacquiao simply skipping his end of the year fight and just taking on his undefeated arch rival late next year.
We'll just have to wait and see what happens.