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Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather: A New Target Date Emerges

Remember that Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. showdown we were kind of hoping to see at the end of 2012? The one that, if it were to happen this year, would have to go down at the end of 2012 because the two fighters who are key to making it happen have opted to avoid each other until at least then?

Well, it won’t happen at the end of 2012 either.

On Wednesday, Top Rank boss Bob Arum told the good folks at Boxing Scene that the most talked about fight to never happen is far more likely to occur in 2013 than the end of this year. Yes, seriously.

As per the report:

“I have to be realistic about this,” Arum said. “I don’t think that Mayweather will be available in the fall to fight Manny. He certainly doesn’t indicate that he wants to fight him now. I would think, probably, everybody would be better off if we thought about that fight [for] next year. But everything is open. First of all, Manny has a really tough fight with Bradley. And secondly, depending on how things break everybody would certainly agree that Juan Manuel [Marquez] deserves a rematch [with Pacquiao]. So I would think that would be what I’m focusing on.”

So, for everyone keeping track at home: a fourth fight against Marquez is higher on the Top Rank agenda than a first fight against Mayweather. We pretty much knew that this was the case, but actually hearing Arum say it makes it official.

Obviously things could change if Marquez were to fall to Sergey Fedchenko in their April 14 showdown, or in any other fight he were to participate in before agreeing to fight Pacquiao. However, it’s tough to envision Marquez not playing it safe and avoiding a loss if he knew that a massive payday against Pacquiao was on the calendar.

On the other side of the equation, it’s sort of tough to figure out why Pacquiao would agree to fight Marquez again. He’s beaten him twice already and never actually lost to him. What else could he possibly do to top what he has already done? Trying to beat someone more convincingly than you already beat them is a dangerous game. How many shots can you really give a talented, smart (albeit ancient) fighter like Marquez before he eventually pulls off the upset?

And a loss to Marquez would instantly drop the amount of hype and money that would be involved in a Pacquiao versus Mayweather showdown. Of course, we may never even get to that point – so maybe that thought process is actually entirely moot.

[Note: Make sure to check out Rope-A-Dope Radio every week as they interview Bob Arum, Alex Ariza and all the other hottest names in boxing.]

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