We may soon know just who will be the opponent next time Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Promoter Bob Arum and adviser Michael Koncz will meet with Manny Pacquiao to discuss his options for a spring fight, according to Ronnie Nathanielsz, and right now you can likely count out Floyd Mayweather Jr -- but it's a "for now" thing, as Pacquiao vs Mayweather may indeed be an option in late 2012.
Right now the likely options for Pacquiao are:
Juan Manuel Marquez: A fourth fight between the two is desired by both fighters, and it's what Bob Arum wants, at least if he's stayed consistent since their third bout on November 12. The hiccups are clear: Marquez will want a lot of money, says he won't fight Pacquiao in Vegas again (Texas is OK, though), and isn't going to act like a pure B-side in negotiations. But Marquez does want it. That much is known.
Miguel Cotto: Cotto makes money and makes sense from a business standpoint. We have heard on our site some fans balking about whether or not it's competitive. I have admitted many times I'm a bigger fan of their first fight than many were, so I'm OK with it, but I do believe there would be some "this again?" backlash even more than a fourth fight with Marquez would see.
Timothy Bradley: Tim is ready and willing. It's all about whether or not Top Rank thinks the time is right to go this route, or whether or not he becomes the best option by process of elimination.
Lamont Peterson: The dark horse. Peterson says he's ready to go. I think this is option number four, really. Peterson has increased value after upsetting Amir Khan, but is definitely not a star, and isn't in any better a position than Bradley. Bradley, unlike Peterson, is promoted by Top Rank. This matters.
Say these are your options -- what's your order of preference?