The general consensus over the past couple of months has been that Manny Pacquiao would eventually exercise his rematch clause and arrange a November 10 bout versus Timothy Bradley.
It’s not really the fight that the public wants to see, but in a lot of ways it’s the one that makes the most sense. His other two options, Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto, bring way too much baggage to the table. It's just not worth it. Beyond them, there aren’t any other viable opponents available – so Bradley is all that’s left by process of elimination.
However, as we’ve noted over the past few weeks, it’s odd that Pacquiao is taking this long to announce his decision. His fight will be on November 10. That’s not that far away. Plus, his options are few and far between, and he’s well aware of the positives and negatives that come with all of his potential competitors.
If he fights Bradley again, he gets an easy win and a relatively solid pay day. If he fights Juan Manuel Marquez, he gets a tough match and a solid pay day. If he fights Cotto – who knows.
No matter what, though, this shouldn’t be as tough of a decision as it’s appearing to be.
We speculated a couple of days ago that perhaps Pacquiao’s decision was taking as long as it was taking because he and Top Rank were working on something big. That perhaps they were trying to think outside the box and come up with an opponent that we hadn’t previously thought of.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. Here is what Arum had to say to Boxing Scene on the matter recently:
Promoter Bob Arum on Tuesday said that he and his wife, Lovee, are leaving Saturday to the Philippines. Once there, Arum will talk to Manny Pacquiao about his next fight. The possibilities are a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, or a rematch with either Timothy Bradley or Miguel Cotto.
Arum said he expects to have a decision by a week from Friday, Aug. 10.
If we’re getting a decision within the next eight days, then it’ll definitely be one of the three guys that were mentioned previously – most likely Bradley. So yeah, that ends all of the conspiracy theories and hopeful speculation.
As much as we’ve killed the prospect of Pacquiao-Bradley II, there are worse things that could happen. We’d rather see Pacquiao fight a boring, clearly overmatched opponent like Bradley than retire.
Still, imagine how cool it would have been if Pacquiao and Arum came out at some point and said that they weren’t going to fight this November, and that they would instead hold out for a showdown versus Floyd Mayweather Jr.
That’s what we were hoping this delay was about. Apparently not, though.