Almost like a broken record, Manny Pacquiao is looking past Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth (and hopefully final) time. Already Bob Arum has reserved April 20th, 2013 for Manny Pacquiao's next fight provided everything goes as planned on December 8th, 2012 against Marquez. Really? Would there even be a fourth fight if things usually went as planned for Manny against JMM? If this was the third fight no one would care because people actually believed Marquez was finally too old and too far out of his proper weight class to win.
But somehow Pacquiao actually managed to perform worse against Marquez than he did in the 2nd fight, which most educated observers also thought he lost. So please, Manny, Bob, stop making plans. Even if Manny were to finally win convincingly what good does that do for negotiating a meeting with Floyd Mayweather if you're already dictating terms? Then again, many could easily argue that Arum has never been interested in making Mayweather-Pacquiao all along, but that's another story for another day...
Today all that matters is Manny Pacquiao now has two upcoming fights scheduled, the first of which ironically comes against a man that most would agree has his number. For now, rumors that Pacquiao might be retiring in 2013 seem less likely. I mean, who would plan a retirement fight so haphazardly?
In any event, The Manila Bulletin reports that Arum believes April 20th is a perfect date to schedule Pacquiao's next fight as it comes after March Madness, the 75th annual Division I men's basketball championship tournament, and before the May elections, where congressman Pacquiao will be up for reelection. Preparations for Pacquiao's next US training camp have already been made and he's filed a certificate of candidacy as congressman of Sarangani. Meanwhile, Marquez has already begun training in Mexico. Are you ready for the first HBO 24/7 repeat? I'm just hoping they figure out how to re-invent the show. I have my doubts.