On the heels of eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao trouncing Antonio Margarito in November, the question on everyone’s minds now is who the Filipino superstar will fight next.
Will it be another hand-picked surefire win by Bob Arum and the rest of Pacquiao’s fan club -- like the last three fights? Or will that camp finally man up and select a fighter who may actually give their boy a run for his money?
As of right now, ‘Splenda’ Shane Mosley, who is so far past his prime they may have to turn his odometer back before the fight, appears to be the next guy to catch a beating from Pacquiao.
Luckily for boxing fans everywhere, though, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has once again stepped up to be the voice of reason. Both publicly and behind the scenes, the well-known and highly respected executive has been pushing for Pacquiao to square off against the one fighter -- besides Floyd Mayweather Jr. -- who may give him a serious fight: Juan Manual Marquez.
Marquez, of course, is the excellent Mexican fighter who many suggested should have won at least one of his two match-ups against the Pacquiao.
In 2004, the pair fought to a draw in their featherweight championship fight, and in 2008 Pacquiao got a split decision win in their junior lightweight title bout.
The idea that over-the-hill, past-his-prime Mosley would get a shot at the champ now simply signifies how reluctant Arum and his gang appear to be when it comes to setting Pacquiao up against legitimate fighters.
On Tuesday, Arum announced that Pacquiao’s next fight will come on May 7 – the weekend of Cinco de Mayo.
Traditionally, a major Mexican fighter is featured in bouts that occur that weekend. Further, Golden Boy is holding that date for a fight card at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In other words, everything is in place if Arum and Pacquiao are confident and man enough to accept a fight with Marquez. However, only time will tell how brave the pair actually is.
Already, the excuses are beginning to pour in from Pacquiao’s side. Arum came out Tuesday and publicly bashed Marquez’s term sheet for containing numbers that are “so damn high.”
Marquez’s camp immediately disputed the notion that their guy was asking for a ridiculous sum of money for this fight. However, as Arum has proven time and time again, the truth has very little bearing on the things he and the rest of the folks under his umbrella do.
Arum wants Pacquiao’s next fight to be against Mosley and, as such, expect it turn out that way.
It’s the same old story when it comes to this sport.
Pacquiao will get paid. Arum will get paid. And boxing will lose out on another great potential match-up because the people in power care far more about their bottom lines than the betterment of the sport.