The boxing world has been expecting a big announcement from Manny Pacquiao for a while now, but this isn’t what we had in mind. Through his advisor, Michael Koncz, the Filipino champion made it known yesterday that he was pushing back his highly anticipated Nov. 10 fight to Dec. 1.
No specific reason for the delay was offered, however, in an interview with RingTV, Koncz indicated that it was primarily due to “conflicting schedules with the boxing and Manny's personal affairs."
Your guess for what that really means is as good as ours.
More important than the motivation behind this decision, though, is what it impact it has on the guys who were in the running to fight Pacquiao next. For months now, Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez were viewed as odds on favorites to claim a spot in the ring opposite the Filipino champ in November. Miguel Cotto’s name was thrown around, too, but nobody really viewed him as a serious option. And, of course, over the past few weeks, rumors about Floyd Mayweather emerging as a possible choice for Manny’s next fight also began to circulate.
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So what does Pacquiao’s new fight date mean for all of that?
Well, it means that he won’t be fighting Mayweather next. Seeing as all Pacquiao did was push the date back, not cancel it altogether, clearly Manny isn’t going to wait around for Mayweather until next April or May. That doesn’t mean they won’t fight in the future, it just means another fight will happen before then.
And if Pacquiao is fighting someone before Mayweather, that means Bradley, Marquez and Cotto are back in the running for a shot at the No. 1 or No. 2 pound-for-pounder in the world.
"I met with Bob Arum in New York yesterday and had further discussions," Koncz told RingTV. "We talked about Bradley, Cotto and Marquez, but we have not selected an opponent. I will relay those discussions to Manny within the next day or two."
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Common sense says that Bradley will be the one to land the bout, seeing as all Pacquiao has to do to make it happen is evoke his rematch clause. Marquez is an option too, though, and he’s expressed his willingness to fight his old rival on numerous occasions over the past few months. Cotto was supposed to fight at Madison Square Garden this December, but there is always the off chance that he would change that if granted a rematch against Pacquiao.
Basically, this most recent development guarantees that we’re back on our original track. Mayweather and waiting for Mayweather is off the table for now. Pacquiao is going to fight this year, and it won’t be against his undefeated arch rival. Now it’s just a matter of filling in the blank and figuring out who that mystery opponent will be.