If you were one of the many people who didn’t want to see Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley fight again this year, good news: it looks like the Filipino champion will square off against someone else in his highly anticipated end of year showdown.
Heading into last week, there were three potential opponents on the table for Pacquiao to choose from – all of whom he had fought at least once. Miguel Cotto, someone who by Thursday was considered the favorite to earn a spot opposite Pacquiao if he decided he wanted it, announced on Friday that he wasn't interested. Instead, he opted for a Dec. 1 battle against Austin Trout.
That narrowed the list of potential foes for Pacquiao from three to two and, obviously, made the decision a little easier.
In Bradley, Pacquiao basically had an easy win for what would be a less-than-stellar payday. In Marquez, Pacquiao had a tough adversary with a proven track record of garnering interest from fans and bringing in huge PPV totals.
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According to Boxing Scene (by way of PhilStar), the Filipino champ is inching towards the latter option. (Money always wins out.) Via the report:
According to the report from boxingscene.com, promoter Fernando Beltran of the Mexico-based Zanfer Promotions said Pacquiao-Marquez 4 is slated to take place on December 8.
The remaining stumbling for the fight being finalized, Beltran said, is the lack of a signed contract from Pacquiao himself – something the promoter expects to have anytime soon.
“The only reason I can’t guarantee the fight is [happening] is because there isn’t a signed contract from Pacquiao in front of us. Nevertheless, in the next few hours we will have it,” Beltran told boxingscene.com’s Rene Umanzor and Miguel Rivera.
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Earlier, before Cotto ultimately made his decision, Freddie Roach had this to say on the subject of who Pacquiao’s next opponent should be:
“Bradley, I feel there’s no need for that fight because the whole world knows we beat him,” Roach told The Examiner.
“Cotto makes the most sense to me because he just went the distance with (Floyd) Mayweather. If we can knock him out again at 150 (lb), which he said yes to, and if we could knock him out again, our negotiating power with Mayweather would be a little stronger
“I think it’s the most sensible fight out there but Marquez is closer to being made though, because Cotto wants more money.”
Roach wound up being right – albeit for the wrong reason. Cotto didn’t choose Trout because of money, but he did end up being the harder rival to entice into a bout against Pacquiao.
Pacquiao-Marquez IV made the most sense all along, so it’s great that Top Rank has reportedly decided to move in that direction. Yes, in theory, fighting the same guy four times is boring – but this situation is different.
For one thing, there hasn’t been a single bad Pacquiao-Marquez fight to date. Not one. And there is no reason to assume that their next showdown would be any different. Two, given the other options on the table (basically just Bradley now), this was the best way to go. Nobody wanted to see a repeat of June’s awful match. And, finally, it’s great that Bradley will now need to go back and actually earn some quality wins to get back into the limelight, instead of just being dubbed a star because of a deal he struck with Bob Arum. (Which is allegedly how he landed a shot at Pacquiao in the first place.)
If Pacquiao-Marquez IV is as close to being official as folks are saying it is, an announcement should come soon.
We’ll keep you posted.