With a possible April 2013 bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. seemingly on the horizon, Manny Pacquiao now has a very difficult decision to make. Does the Filipino champion really want to risk fighting any one of several inferior opponents and potentially suffering an injury and/or loss, or would he rather just wait it out fight his arch rival early next year?
Up until about two weeks ago, it looked like a virtual certainty that Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley would clash in a rematch of this past June’s highly-scrutinized showdown.
Bradley won that fight, but he did so in the sleaziest, shadiest fashion imaginable. (Not because he's sleazy or shady, because of the people scoring the fight.) Aside from the two incompetent judges who awarded him with the victory, nobody -- including his own promoter -- felt like Bradley had beaten his opponent.
Despite the fact that he really didn’t need to, Pacquiao made it clear that he wanted to avenge his loss. On several occasions, while never actually officially committing to anything, he noted that he was leaning towards taking on Bradley again in November and proving that what happened was nothing more than a fluke.
There were some other reports regarding Pacquiao possibly also considering Juan Manuel Marquez or Miguel Cotto as potential suitors for late this year, but each one's baggage made it seem unlikely.
If a fight were going to happen in November, up until last week, all signs pointed to it being Pacquiao-Bradley II.
That changed this past Friday.
According to Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin, Pacquiao and his team are apparently considering skipping fighting in 2012 altogether. Instead, they’re looking into just training and waiting for a Dream Match against Mayweather early next year.
Via the report:
Having ran out of marquee names to fight, Manny Pacquiao looks willing to forego a fight in November to avoid any complications and risks as long as a mouth-watering matchup with Floyd Mayweather can be made in the first quarter of 2013.
…nothing concrete has been reached by Pacquiao and Arum, fuelling suspicions that the Filipino star is amenable to remain inactive for the rest of the year provided that he will meet Mayweather next.
This makes perfect sense, of course. Why fight in November against someone other than Mayweather when there is absolutely nothing to gain from it? A bout against Bradley would do paltry pay-per-view totals. A fight against Marquez would do better financially, but it might also end in Pacquiao either picking up a loss or getting hurt. And Cotto, well, that’s just too random of an option to even take seriously.
Not fighting for the rest of this year and waiting until April is a great idea, but its contingent on how confident all involved are that they could get Pacquiao and Mayweather to sign on the dotted line. Given all that’s happened with these two in the past, it’s hard to imagine Pacquiao foregoing a second payday in 2012 unless there is some legally binding paperwork to ensure a Dream Match in 2013.