A lot of dominoes will fall when Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez finally announce that they are fighting each other again. Currently, three other boxers are patiently waiting for these guys to drop the charade, because their next bouts are impacted by whether or not Pacquiao-Marquez V comes to fruition.
Mike Alvarado, Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley have all been mentioned as possible alternates for Pacquiao and Marquez should they fail to come to terms. Alvarado and Rios clearly want to fight each other again, but both would be willing to step in for others should the opportunity arise. Similarly, Bradley has expressed interest in fighting both Pacquiao and, to a lesser degree, Marquez.
Still, Pacquiao’s No. 1 option at this point is the man who beat him last December.
"My gut instinct on what is next? I want it to be Marquez, Manny wants Marquez, but Marquez wants a lot, lot, lot of money," Roach told The Sweet Science. "I think it's a little outrageous. It may not happen. We might have to go to Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios or a Tim Bradley rematch could be made. I want Marquez right away, Manny and I both want it. But Marquez wants just about a 50-50 split. Manny brings butts in seats, pay-per-view-wise, Manny is the guy. Obviously Manny deserves more. I think a rematch will make a lot more money than the last fight. I think both sides can ask for more and Marquez deserves something, but not 50-50."
Marquez, meanwhile, insists that he isn’t interested in fighting Pacquiao. He says he wants Bradley.
"[Fighting Bradley] weighs more to me because he's a great fighter, he is the champion, so logically as a fighter you always want to fight the best and Bradley is the champion and you want the championship. If I decide to continue, Bradley would be a great opponent," he told Boxing Scene.
"I do not care about a fifth fight [with Pacquiao], after what happened in the first three fights where there were controversial decisions, controversial where we had actually won and in this fourth fight we had a great victory and I would be very satisfied to let the memory of that remain, and to keep that feeling in place for myself, and also, for the Mexicans. We must go forward, pursue new goals, new directions. And for me to have had four fights with someone they had rated as the best pound for pound - and I made it clear that he is not the best pound for pound - searching for new challenges is important."
So Marquez doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao, but he told Pacquiao he’d do it for a 50-50 split? Obviously Marquez is trying to use Bradley as a bargaining chip, much in the same way Floyd Mayweather Jr. used Devon Alexander earlier this year. Everyone knew he wouldn’t actually fight Alexander, and surely enough, he agreed to take on Robert Guerrero shortly thereafter. The same thing will happen here.
On the bright side, though, it sounds as though fans will get an answer one way or the other by the end of the week.
"...we'll have an opponent by the end of the week for Manny. I'm not going to negotiate in the media. They're all my fighters, so I'll talk to them privately, and then, we'll come to a decision," Bob Arum told Ring recently.
As soon as Pacquiao’s next bout is announced, the rest of the pieces will fall into place much more quickly.