Sports

Manny Pacquiao is Refusing to Say Whether He Picked Timothy Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez

| by Alex Groberman

We know that Manny Pacquiao has decided on his next opponent already, so why won't he just tell us who it is? More than two months have passed since his disastrous bout versus Timothy Bradley and, between the morning of June 10th and today, the Filipino champion has managed to flip-flop on who he would square off against next at least three times.

First, Bradley was reported to be the odds-on favorite. Then it was Juan Manuel Marquez. Last week, Miguel Cotto emerged as the likely pick. Now Marquez is reportedly the preferred selection again. Heck, at one point, there was even some talk about Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. coming to some sort of agreement.

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And yet, despite all of the rumors and speculation, we still have no idea who the Filipino champion will be doing battle with on Dec. 8.

During a recent interview with Brad Cooney of 8 Count News (via ABS-CBN), Bob Arum admitted that they had decided on who Pacquiao’s next foe would be, but that he would not divulge that info to the public.

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“We're not in liberty to tell you who [he's fighting]... that's my instructions,” the veteran promoter said.

Why is it such a big secret? Wasn’t forcing fans to wait for two-plus months a good enough test of their loyalty? Will an unveiling that comes next week, the week after that, or the week after that really be any bigger of a story than an unveiling that would come this week?

Of course not. This delay is dumb.

What makes this whole situation even more ludicrous is that everyone already suspects that Marquez will get the nod. A few days ago, Marquez’s own reps acknowleged that they think a deal is 95 percent done. More recently, Freddie Roach did an interview with On The Ropes Boxing Radio in which he was basically acting like the bout was already a done deal.

“The thing is that Marquez does have a hard style for us,” Freddie Roach said. “He knows how to get Manny to move into the right hand and we just got to nullify that… we better get it done in this fight or we won't win this one.

“It's a very difficult fight stylewise for us, he does give us problems,” said Roach. “But I think if Manny Pacquiao gets in the best shape he can, we will finally close the book on Marquez.”

A couple of days back, Michael Koncz told ESPN.com that he hopes to make the big announcement on who Pacquiao’s next opponent will be by the end of the week.

Don't hold your breath, folks.

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