Top Rank sent out a release with Bob Arum saying that welterweight contender Mike Jones will be on a "list" to face Manny Pacquiao in 2012. Pacquiao returns on November 12 against Juan Manuel Marquez, while Philadelphia's Jones fights on Saturday night against club fighter Raul Munoz on FSN.
Jones (24-0, 18 KO) is about six feet tall, which would give him a massive height advantage on Manny, and he'd also have a five-inch reach advantage against the Filipino superstar. But this seems like it's more to promote the name of Mike Jones than anything else. Jones, 28, doesn't have much fanbase, and has never had so much as a major TV main event. His biggest fight probably came in November 2010 on the Pacquiao vs Margarito undercard, when he escaped with a debated decision win over Jesus Soto Karass. The two rematched in February, with Jones winning decisively.
Jones is also still promoted by J. Russell Peltz and not officially by Top Rank, but Top Rank has been "helping out" with Jones' career.
Realistically, if Pacquiao beats Marquez as expected in November, there will be some problems finding opponents in 2012. Some expect Top Rank to make a move for Timothy Bradley in order to help the situation, and with Top Rank and Golden Boy getting friendlier again, that could help matters. One thing that could be huge is a Pacquiao vs Victor Ortiz fight if Ortiz were to upset Floyd Mayweather Jr in September, and of course Mayweather vs Pacquiao (or Pacquiao vs Mayweather) is always going to be the talk of boxing until it happens or one of them loses.
But I can't really see Mike Jones getting a fight with Manny next year unless something big happens for him before that, and it's not easy finding good fights at 147 pounds for guys who are six feet tall.