Bob Arum has been in the Philippines this week to discuss potential opponents for Manny Pacquiao’s return to the ring on November 10th. The list of contenders reportedly contains just two names, Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, with the Mexican most likely to get the nod.
Pacquiao is coming off a controversial win over Marquez and a loss to Bradley which was even more controversial with the scoring of both fights coming in for a lot of criticism.
His first fight with Marquez was a classic as the Mexican was knocked down three times in the opening round but came back to claim a draw which was… controversial.
Fights two and three might not have been quite as dramatic but the controversy continued with Pacquiao winning fight number two by split decision and fight number three by majority decision.
The problem for Arum is that even though all three fights have been almost too close to call the score currently reads 2-0-1 in Pacquiao’s favour which from a promotional point of view undermines the potential fourth meeting, although this probably won’t prove an insurmountable obstacle.
An immediate rematch with Bradley, who practically no-one except two of the ringside judges felt beat Pacquiao first time around, would be a more obvious option and would be easy to put together because the original contracts had a rematch clause.
Miguel Cotto is the other contender but Pacquiao has already beaten him convincingly once and there doesn’t appear to be much appetite for a rematch.
Floyd Mayweather is not currently an option although there are rumours that rapper 50 Cent, who has just moved into the boxing business, could be the ‘knight in shining armour’ who puts together this long awaited match up in 2013.
Regardless of who the opponent is Pacquiao will definitely be back in action on November 10th, either in Las Vegas or Dallas. It appears that discussions are going to centre around whether to fight Bradley or Marquez with the Mexican seemingly the leading candidate at present.