Figuring out who Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent will be has become increasingly difficult over the past few weeks.
What initially appeared to be a cut-and-dry decision has now been injected with talk of financials, legacy ramifications, weight concerns and a ton of other tedious details that nobody originally took into account.
In the immediate aftermath of that awful June 9 decision, it seemed to be a virtual certainty that Timothy Bradley would be Pacquiao’s November opponent. And no – it wasn’t just because of that dumb fake ticket that Bradley had made prior to the fight.
Rather, it was mostly because the match just made sense from a money, storyline and contractual standpoint. That, coupled with Pacquiao’s clear desire to “redeem” himself for a loss that the whole world felt like he didn’t deserve made it seem like a done a deal.
Over the past few weeks, however, numerous reports have emerged about Pacquiao and his Top Rank associates seriously weighing potential showdowns versus either Juan Manuel Marquez or Miguel Cotto. On top of the fact that both would probably be more interesting foes for Manny stylistically, both also would generate bigger paydays for him than Bradley would.
Even before Bradley proved that he couldn’t hang with Pacquiao, their bout didn’t generate the sort of numbers that past fights had for the Filipino champion. Mix in the fact that a lot of people were turned off by Bradley’s undeserved victory, and that could potentially turn into a hefty financial problem for all involved.
Or at least that was the general consensus for most of this week.
On Wednesday, however, in an interview with PhilStar, Pacquiao’s legal adviser Franklin Gacal shut that theory down pretty quickly.
“Palagay ko nga Bradley (I think it’s Bradley),” said Gacal. “There’s a score to settle with Bradley.”
Should Pacquiao feel like he has a score to settle? Of course not. He clearly beat Bradley, even if two incompetent judge felt like he didn’t. Still, it’s sort of understandable why he feels that way.
Gacal said in that same interview that he expects a decision to be announced in the not so distance future – so all this suspense will likely end soon enough.