By James Slater – It looks like Manny Pacquiao will be back in action quicker than was expected. Shortly after his points win over the much bigger Antonio Margarito – a fight that left Manny “sore and aching all over” – the word was the pound-for-pound king would take a considerable break, six months or so. But yesterday, Top Rank boss Bob Arum announced how his promotional plan is for Pac-Man to fight next on April 16th, once again in Las Vegas..
This is the plan, and unless Floyd Mayweather Junior announces that he is ready and willing to face Pacquiao, Manny will choose from a shortlist of three fighters for the April date. The list consists of: Shane Mosley, Andre Berto and, in what would be a third fight, Juan Manuel Marquez. Arum told The Manila Bulletin that the final decision will be made by Pac-Man himself.
“In the end, it’s going to be Manny’s decision,” Arum stated. “We are going to discuss the economics but he will make the call. He’s the one fighting. I like Mosley. I like him as a person and there’s a perception out there that Pacquiao hasn’t fought an African-American fighter. It’s not up to me, it’s up to Manny.”
Reportedly, Arum will fly out to The Philippines for Pacquiao’s 32nd birthday party on December 17th, to further discuss the April fight with the superstar.
Fans have already given their opinion on the three fighters Arum mentioned, and which one they would most like to see go in against Pacquiao. Marquez is a popular choice, but only if he gets to fight Pac-Man at 140-pounds MAX; the fans are not interested in seeing “Dinamita” struggling to add any further pounds to his body. But will Pacquiao agree to fight at lower than 147?
If he won’t, then Berto is the second choice as far as the fans go. A legitimate welterweight, the undefeated WBC champion is a primed and peaking wannabe star. Mosley, on the other hand, is a faded 39-year-old who has surely fired all his bullets. Why is it then, that a good number of people have the feeling “Sugar” Shane will be the guy Pacquiao chooses to fight next? No-one is saying Pac-Man ever looks for the easiest fight that is out there, but he will surely get criticised if he does opt to face the former lightweight, welterweight and light-middleweight ruler.
Still, as huge as he is the world over, Pacquiao will attract a monstrous crowd and pay-per-view audience whoever he fights. And, as exciting as he always is, most of his fans will go home happy even if he does face Mosley next, and does away with him in quick time. Is it reasonable to suggest Pac-Man becomes the first man to stop Mosley if he fights him in April of next year at The MGM Grand? Most experts would say so.