A lot of things have been said about Manny Pacquiao’s next bout. It has to be in April so that he can squeeze two fights into his 2013 schedule. It needs to be in September so that he can heal fully before a big money match. It needs to be against Juan Manuel Marquez so that he can get revenge for last December’s defeat. It needs to be against a weaker foe so that he can get his mind right and break his two-fight losing streak.
Any which way you turn, depending on which member of Pacquiao’s inner circle or Top Rank you speak to, you will get a different answer and a different determination of what the Filipino star’s next move is. It figures that this would be the case seeing as all involved are still weighing their options, but there is a way to sort of push past all the nonsense and narrow down what Pacquiao’s next fight will look like. You just have to understand what it will mainly be influenced by.
No, not money. Health. Pacquiao’s next bout, regardless of whether it comes in April or September of this year, will be influenced by the 34-year-old’s health.
During a recent interview with the Philippine Star, Michael Koncz (Pacquiao’s closest advisor) said this of his guy’s next match: “We’re not interested in the US for this fight.”
And why are they not interested the United States as a venue? “Tax reasons” according to Koncz.
Yeah, right. After not fighting on anything but American soil for six years, suddenly Pacquiao is so hard up for cash he has to seek international immunity from tax collectors? Give me a break. More likely than not, the decision to go overseas for the Filipino star’s next bout is motivated by health, not money.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) ruled that Pacquiao can’t fight until early March and can’t train with contact until early February. The former rule isn’t a problem seeing as the discussed April match would take place in, well, April; the latter, however, is a problem. How can Pacquiao train for a fight without being permitted to actually fight anyone?
That’s where a non-American venue comes into play. By fighting outside of the United States, Pacquiao will be able to circumvent the NSAC’s imposed rules. Thus far, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Macau have all been mentioned as possible hosting locales.
As far as the opponent goes: “We haven’t started looking at the opponent until we find the venue.
“But there’s no problem. We hope to finalize things this coming week.” Koncz said.
Here too the main influence will be health, not potential monetary gain. Top Rank and the rest of Pacquiao’s inner circle will be rolling in dough this September if Pacquiao takes on Marquez for a fifth time – he just needs to get to that point. And if he doesn’t get healthy -- mentally and physically -- with a tune-up, that likely won’t happen.
For what it’s worth, we have been saying since the very beginning that Pacquiao shouldn’t have a tune-up prior to the Marquez fight. Rather, he should just chill until September and fight Marquez then. But since all involved seem intent on squeezing an April match into the equation, something relatively easy against a guy like Vyacheslav Senchenko makes a whole lot of sense.