For about four months, it was a virtual lock that Manny Pacquiao’s next fight would come against Juan Manuel Marquez. Then, for about 48 hours last week, it was all but guaranteed that he would square off against Mike Alvarado this October. Somewhere in between those two points, there was some gossip about the Filipino star taking on Timothy Bradley again.
This week? Silence.
Over the past month, Pacquiao and his entire group of representatives have been telling everyone that a fight announcement regarding his next showdown was just around the corner. First Michael Koncz came out and said that the bout would occur in October. Then Bob Arum said it would be in September. Then Pacquiao himself said it would be in Spetember. Then, most recently, Arum came out and admitted that Koncz was right – it would be in October.
So it was settled – Pacquiao would return in October. He would fight in Asia. The question that nobody seemed to have an answer to, though, was who his next opponent would be. The popular rumor being peddled for most of last week was that Marquez had priced himself out of the fight. A Mexican newspaper reported that he demanded $20 million for his participation in a rematch against his Filipino arch rival; Freddie Roach insisted that he wanted 50-50. Given that there is about $30 million available for Pacquiao and Marquez to split between themselves, that’s a pretty wide gap between Roach said and some of the rumors floating around – but whatever. The general sentiment remained the same: Marquez’s asking price was too steep.
That’s when Mike Alvarado’s representation swooped in and started making all sorts of waves. They said that IBF champ would be happy to take on Pacquiao, and his camp even went so far as to tell some reporters that the match was a done deal. It wasn’t. It could still happen, obviously, but it certainly wasn’t the lock some folks were making it out to be last week.
And Timothy Bradley, well, he’s just sort of there. He may fight Marquez if the Pacquiao thing doesn’t work out. He may fight someone else – he’s just sort of a fill-in, despite the fact that he is coming off a very solid victory.
Given everything we heard at the conclusion of last week, it would only seem natural that a resolution of some sort would be reached sooner rather than later. Yet, here we are. There are no rumors this week. There is no gossip. Zero whispers. It’s as if people are working on making something happened, as opposed to simply talking about making something happen.
Will Pacquiao fight Marquez? Will he fight Alvarado? Will Marquez fight Bradley? Or will he fight Pacquiao? Will Alvarado fight Pacquiao or Marquez? Or will he fight Brandon Rios? There are too many options to choose from right now for anyone to speak with any degree of certainty. That being said, on behalf of boxing fans everywhere: Thank you to all involved for decreasing the amount of talk that’s been at work over the past few months, and increasing the amount of action.
If things continue along this path, we may very well get an announcement at some point this week.