Bob Arum On Pacquiao’s 2008 Schedule

Matthew Hurley: According to Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao’s choice of opponents has been whittled down to two – World Boxing Council lightweight champion David Diaz and WBC super featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez. After viewing Joan Guzman’ unanimous decision victory over Humberto Soto for the World Boxing Organization’s super featherweight title, Arum effectively eliminated him from the running..

“Guzman really cannot draw very well,” Arum opined. “Manny will choose between two opponents. One, Juan Manuel Marquez or two, for the lightweight championship, against David Diaz. Guzman’s last performance wasn’t good, but to give him his due he hasn’t fought in a year and Soto looked very, very bad. So we’re talking about two credible opponents, Marquez or Diaz.”

The feeling here is that Pacquiao will ultimately choose David Diaz. Manny has hinted that he has been having problems making the 130 pound limit and the idea of another title belt to add to his collection tantalizes both the fighter and his promoter. Manny is also scheduled, according to Arum, to fight three times in 2008, so Marquez will fit in at some point.

“I will present both deals to Manny and I will choose the best opponent, the best deal. Manny wants to fight three times next year. Once in March, once in July and once in September. So if Manny is thinking about going up in weight, winning the lightweight title, then he will fight Diaz. And then in July he can fight Marquez for the lightweight championship.”

Fans clamoring for a match up with WBA/IBF/WBO lightweight champion Juan Diaz will have to be patient.

“Not for the March 15th fight,” Arum says. “He has a promotional contract with Don King. That contract ends in March. So if a fight was to be made with Juan Diaz, that would be a great fight. Everybody agrees that fight should be made after Diaz has no ties with Don King. But that would be a huge fight.”

Arum also remarked on one of his personal favorite fighters, one who served him well under the Top Rank Promotions banner, Erik Morales and his request for a rematch with David Diaz to whom he lost a close decision that could have gone either way and, for the time being, sent him into retirement.

“Yes, he did (as for a rematch). But I remember being in the ring after he fought David Diaz. It was a good fight and he said to me win or lose this is my last fight. And he (also) said that every time he got hit his head started to rattle. And knowing that, it would be absolutely criminal of me to do anything to put Erik Morales back in the ring. I told him he had a great career, he shouldn’t risk any damage and he has a long life ahead of him so hang up the gloves. He was not happy but he’s not going to fight under my banner. I love him too much.”

Article posted on 19.11.2007

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