In his latest blog, Dan Rafael discusses who Manny Pacquiao might fight next. In particular, he has been in contact with Arum, who thinks that Manny will fight in the fall regardless of how the elections go. Rafael writes that Arum has his eye(s) on three possible opponents:
• Antonio Margarito, the disgraced former welterweight titlist who Arum anticipates will eventually get his license back after having it revoked for trying to fight Mosley with loaded hand wraps 14 months ago.
• Edwin Valero, the former lightweight titlist who is moving up to junior welterweight for his next fight. Valero, who has had licensing issues because of a past medical problem, is licensed in Texas, so maybe we'll see a return to Jerry Jones' Cowboys Stadium if that fight is made.
• Juan Manuel Marquez, the lightweight champ who would have to move up in weight. Marquez and Pacquiao have fought two memorable battles with Pacquiao going 1-0-1 in two terrific and close fights in which both decisions were highly controversial. If there is Pacquiao-Marquez III it would mean Top Rank would have to work with Golden Boy, Marquez's promoter, which is always a dicey proposition.
I think that any of these fights would probably do worse than the Clottey fight in terms of casual fan interest or PPV buys. Valero is not well-known enough and Marquez looks shot after Mayweather, or at the very least, he should not be fighting at welterweight. I know that Arum loves to line his pockets, but this continual talk of Margarito sickens me. He was caught cheating and his first fight back would be a reward-a huge payday with Manny?
How do you feel about these three names? If fights with Floyd or Mosley can't, or won't happen, what other options are there for Manny?