After much delay, it appears as though Manny Pacquiao is finally ready to announce who his next opponent will be. In a recent interview, Top Rank Boss Bob Arum confirmed that the Filipino champion had in fact decided on a foe and that an announcement would be made on Thursday, September 13.
Up until today, here is exactly what we knew about Pacquiao’s end-of-year bout: that it would a.) take place on Dec. 8 b.) be set at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and c.) feature either Juan Manuel Marquez or Timothy Bradley.
Yesterday, Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports spoke to Arum and was able to get this out of him: "We are hopeful we can work out deals with both guys and come to terms for a fight on Dec. 8."
Today, the good folks over at Boxing Scene reported this:
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz have both indicated the “Fighter of the Decade” will make a decision tomorrow (Thursday, Manila Time) who he will fight on December 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In an overseas telephone conversation with the Manila Standard, Arum said “We will know who he (Pacquiao) is fighting, the date is December 8 and its going to be at the MGM Grand and we’ll know the opponent and everything is a done deal.”
Arum indicated the choice is “officially” between Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley and Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez, adding “you can use your intuition to figure out who its going to be.”
Everyone can connect the dots. If Arum was hoping to complete a deal with Marquez yesterday and today he has a deal that’s signed, sealed and delivered – obviously Marquez is going to get the nod.
Now that Pacquiao-Marquez IV is more or less etched in stone, let’s take a quick look at the positives and negatives pertaining to this fight.
Positives: Marquez always challenges Pacquiao, it will generate good PPV totals and a lot of interest, it will adequately warm Pacquiao up for a 2013 shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr., it’s not Pacquiao-Bradley II.
Negatives: it’s the fourth time we’re seeing this fight, referees might feel inclined to give Marquez the nod even if he doesn’t deserve it just because of history, Pacquiao might get too beaten up to fight Mayweather in 2013, we won’t get to see Pacquiao pound on Bradley and reclaim a title he never really lost in the first place.
All in all, the positives vastly outweigh the negatives.
We’ll have reaction to the announcement as soon as it comes down on Thursday. Stay tuned.