By Marcus Richardson: Manny Pacquiao’s options are now greatly limited after Miguel Cotto announced that he’ll be fighting WBA World light middleweight champion Austin Trout on December 1st at Madison Square Garden, in New York. Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum now much choose from Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) and Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KO’s) for Pacquiao’s upcoming fight in December. It’s not even a choice, is it? Arum wants to maximize his fighter Pacquiao’s payday and it seems pretty clear that the only option they have if they want to do that is to fight 39-year-old Marquez next.
Who knows how many more fights Pacquiao has in him, so it kind of makes sense for Arum to be looking to squeeze every last cent out of the remaining fights of his Filipino star’s career because the Pacquiao train seems to be slowing down now that he’s showing signs of aging.
Marquez would be smart to jump on the Cotto news and demand a bigger slice of the revenue for a Pacquiao fight, because there’s really not many options for Pacquiao now. To be sure, Pacquiao can take the Bradley rematch, make less money for himself and Arum, and possibly get beaten again if Bradley uses movement and a more consistent attack. With Pacquiao limited to fighting hard in the last 20 seconds of every round, Bradley would have a good chance of beating him again.
I don’t know if that would be a wise move for Arum and Pacquiao to take that just because Bradley might be willing to take a lot less money than Marquez. If Arum is thinking just in terms of squeezing the most money from this next fight for Pacquiao, he might be making a mistake if he chooses Bradley. Arum should be thinking of which fighter he believes can beat so that he can keep the money train moving along the tracks as long as possible. Maybe Marquez is the guy that Pacquiao matches up better against now.
Frankly, I think it’s pretty obvious that Marquez will be getting the fight now that Cotto is off the table. I don’t think he ever was really an option with Cotto not being interested in fighting Pacquiao at a catchweight of 150 lbs. But it’s got to hurt Arum not having Cotto available to make it easier to negotiate with Marquez. All he’d have to say to Marquez each time he asks for a lot of money, ‘Well, we can always go with Cotto if you’re going to ask for too much money.’ He can’t do that now. Arum might have to pay Marquez pretty much whatever he’s asking for to make the fight happen.