Manny Pacquiao is currently focused on one fight and one fight only: his Dec. 8 showdown versus Juan Manuel Marquez. The rest of the world, however, can’t help but look forward and try to predict what lays ahead for the Filipino champ.
As of now, the general consensus is that Pacquiao will defeat Marquez for the third consecutive time. It won’t be easy. Marquez will put up a serious fight, no doubt about it. But in the end, if Pacquiao trains hard and gives it his all – it’s very hard to envision him losing.
You will recall, last June, Pacquiao absolutely worked Timothy Bradley. Bradley is 29 years old. Marquez is 39 years old. Yes, style makes fights, and yes, Marquez has a rich history of giving Pacquiao problems. That said, there is a reason Marquez has never actually earned that elusive W. That reason? He’s just not as good.
So let’s assume Pacquiao wins on Dec. 8; where does the Filipino champ go in 2013? The obvious answer is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Earlier today, we reported on some rumors floating around regarding the status of that Dream Match. It’s interesting but, as we noted, it’s not something that is verifiable. Stuff that’s on the record is verifiable. And the only thing we have on the record as far as Pacquiao-Mayweather goes is the former offering the latter a bigger split of the purse, and the latter never actually responding. That’s where the trail goes cold.
Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard in Los Angeles that a showdown between Pacquiao and the winner of the Rios-Alvarado battle "could be unbelievable."
He said the fight will be at 147 pounds and that Pacquiao, who recently extended his contract with Arum to December 31, 2014, told him that "he wanted to fight no later than the middle of April so he can come back (to the Philippines) for the elections" next May.
Arum said they went over the calendar and since April 13 is a holy week "he (Manny) agreed November 20 is the last week that he could fight but not that it has to be April 20. It could be a little earlier but April 20 is what we are looking at."
He said should Pacquiao win and face either Rios or Alvardo "the public will go crazy for that fight. Imagine Manny against either of these animals (Rios or Alvarado.) Manny will have to become an 'animal' himself. Absolutely. These guys will make him an animal."
That’s a pretty crazy twist, right? Look, Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado are both fantastic fighters – but nobody wants to see either guy face off against Pacquiao. The public want to see Mayweather face off against Pacquiao. And Arum isn’t stupid, he is well aware of what the public’s reaction to either of these guys would be.
So why is he putting this information out there? Because he wants Mayweather to know that he isn’t the only fish in the sea. He wants the undefeated champ to know that it’s not just going to be Pacquiao trying to decide between Miguel Cotto and Timothy Bradley next year; he has other options.
The smart money says that Pacquiao won’t fight either Rios or Alvarado in 2013. Then again, with Bob Arum – you never know.