In the wake of last Saturday's epic encounter between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao, rematch discussions have already begun. Before their fourth fight, it seemed virtually impossible the two would ever share the same ring again. Something incredible would have to happen. Well, something incredible did happen.
However, before a rematch can take place, the health of Pacquiao following such a sudden, shocking knockout blow needs to be examined. Here is what Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, had to say to Boxing Scene and the Manila Standard on the issue of giving Pacquiao a complete brain check-up:
"I am a hundred percent in agreement. That's one thing I am going to suggest. We have the best center in the world here in Las Vegas, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Brain Center and I will suggest that he have a complete evaluation."
Pacquiao also had a CT Scan immediately after the fight in Vegas. The results came back normal, though, a more complete examination could determine if there is any damage that could have initially been undetected.
On the topic of a rematch, everybody seems to be on board. Here is what Arum had to say about it:
Arum said he told Pacquiao "I don't want to talk about boxing after he told me he wants to fight again and he wants to do a rematch and I said we are not talking about anything until after the first of the year."
Arum said he "told Marquez too. He also would like to do a rematch."
Arum said he totally disagreed with suggestions that should Pacquiao continue to fight he should have an easier opponent, saying "No, no, no. Absolutely not."
He said "he needs rest, he should get away from boxing for a little bit. There's no rush for ether guy and then we'll do the rematch in June or September. A fight in-between is not necessary."
I think it was a safe assumption that if they did fight again, it was not going to happen in April, which was the initial plan for Pacquiao's next fight (thought to be Brandon Rios at the time). Last year, Pacquiao fought in June against Timothy Bradley, and the summer date didn't appear to have any damaging effects to the pay-per-view buys. The fight reportedly did over 900,000 buys, which was around expectations for the event.
Golden Boy has already staked a claim for September. Floyd Mayweather Jr. has plans to return in May and then fight again, only four months later, in September. This seems to be a very ambitious schedule given that Mayweather hasn't fought twice in the same year since 2007, let alone twice in a five month span.
Regardless, the rematch, should it occur (and I have every reason to believe it will), is still a ways away. I would suspect more serious discussion to begin in early spring. By that time each fighter's plans (including Mayweather's) will become more transparent.