After much deliberation, it appears as though Manny Pacquiao has finally chosen his next opponent. Almost three months after his extremely controversial split decision loss to Timothy Bradley, the Filipino champion has reportedly decided that a rematch simply isn’t worth the time or effort.
Heading into this week, Bob Arum and Michael Koncz made it clear that they had narrowed Pacquiao's potential foes down to three people: Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto. Each of the three brought their own positives and negatives to the table, and each one made their desire to participate in a bout against the best pound-for-pounder in the world (or second-best, depending on who you ask) very clear.
So, who will ultimately get a shot at Pacquiao? According to Gabriel F. Cordero of FightNews.com, it’s going to be Marquez. Via his report:
According to a source, Juan Manuel Marquez and Zanfer Promotions have reached an initial agreement with Top Rank to fight Manny Pacquiao on November 10 in Las Vegas. Marquez met Monday in Mexico City with Zanfer and is said to have reached an agreement. Apparently there will be no rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley, as Pacman is eyeing Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
Seeing as we haven’t confirmed this news yet, it would probably be smart to take it with a grain of salt. That said, Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV makes a lot more sense than Pacquiao vs. Bradley II would have, so hopefully this ends up coming to fruition.
As we’ve been saying for months now, the way that Pacquiao statistically dominated Bradley on June 9 left no room for doubt as far as who the better fighter was. Bradley won officially thanks to incompetent judging, but Pacquiao won in the hearts and minds of everyone watching the action unfold.
On the other side of the equation: in their showdown last November, Marquez made a very strong case for himself as being a worthy adversary for Pacquiao. A lot of people came away feeling as though he was the rightful winner of that bout, not Manny. There is obviously a certain argument to be made against seeing the same fight four times, but this is a very unique situation. Bradley was a terrible option. He wasn’t even remotely as good as Pacquiao, and he couldn’t generate enough pay-per-view (PPV) interest to justify his spot from a business end.
But, yeah – there is only one outlet reporting this right now. We’ll do our best to confirm whether or not this is really going down.