By James Slater: According to Top Rank boss and promoter of superstar Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley is out of the running as far as Manny’s November 10th opponent goes. As quoted by The Manila Times, Arum said there is simply not enough fan interest in a Pacquiao-Bradley II, despite, or maybe because of, the controversial nature of the June 9th fight that Bradley somehow won via decision.
That fight generated 900,000 par-per-view hits, poor by Pacquiao’s standards, and now Arum says it will a rematch of another kind for Pac-Man on November 10th in Las Vegas: one with either archrival Juan Manuel Marquez (in what would be a fourth fight between the Filipino and Mexican legends) or one with Miguel Cotto (who Pacquiao stopped in the 12th and final round back in late 2009).
Whoever he chooses from the two great fighters on the short-list, Pacquiao’s fans are likely to be happy. Who doesn’t want to see another instalment of the Pacquiao-Marquez series (even if we kind of already have an idea of what will happen if “Dinamita” fails to score the KO)? The two future Hall of Famers have given us three excellent, quality fights so far, and there’s no reason to think a fourth fight would be a dud.
As for a Cotto return, many fans seem to think that if the Puerto Rican can get Manny into the ring at a higher weight than the one he faced him at in the previous encounter (and Arum has said he feels his fighter will agree to rematch Cotto at around the 150-pound mark, which is far better for Cotto than the 145-pound catch-weight limit the first fight had; even if Cotto has grown into a full light-middleweight since then), he will stand a real chance of getting revenge.
Some feel Pacquiao is on the slide, while Cotto impressed by pushing the sublime Floyd Mayweather Junior hard in his last fight back in May. And Cotto did push Pac-Man for the first four rounds of their 2009 meeting. Maybe a rematch would produce a real fire-fight?
Speaking of the recently released from prison Mayweather, Arum has gone on record as saying he is hopeful “Money” and Pac-Man will at last – at long last – meet next April. Arum says there have been “preliminary discussions” between the two camps and the results have been “encouraging.” (I know – we’ve been here before many times!)
Arum said the involvement of rapper-turned-promoter 50 Cent is a “positive sign “ towards the super-fight being made. Arum even has a date in mind for the fight the world has been waiting for since 2009 or earlier: April 20th. Better late than never, Pacquiao Vs. Mayweather still has a chance to become the richest fight in all of boxing. But if next April comes and goes and the fight either has not happened still or has not been signed, fans will have seen the last remaining ounces of their patience disappear for good.
Regarding the Nov. 10th fight for Pacquiao, Arum says a press tour will begin on September 3rd. Will it be Cotto or will it be Marquez? And what next for Tim Bradley now?