Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reports that we're getting close to having a finalized Manny Pacquiao fight for late this year, and that it's come down to two possible opponents: Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley. This is no surprise now, given that Miguel Cotto has announced a December 1 fight against Austin Trout.
Pacquiao is officially fighting on December 8, in Las Vegas, most likely at the MGM Grand. Marquez has reportedly come close to landing the fight recently, but Bradley is still there waiting, ready to to go. There is unfinished business in both matchups, as Marquez felt robbed last November against Pacquiao, and Pacquiao felt robbed in June against Bradley.
Oh! And there's also Floyd Mayweather.
Pugmire says this evening on Twitter that Al Haymon, Mayweather's advisor and the most powerful man in boxing today, has personally reached out to Manny Pacquiao. As Lance says, that doesn't mean anything for December 8, but it's out there. It sounds like there's at least a little bit there. At least that little bit to keep us talking about it. More likely, next year if ever.
So let's get back to the two guys most likely to land the December fight, Bradley and Marquez. One key reality is that Marquez means more money to spread around. That's just a fact. Pacquiao-Marquez IV will sell better than Pacquiao-Bradley II.
The only way I think Bradley lands this fight -- actually, two ways:
- Marquez asks for way too much money, which is entirely possible.
- Manny puts his foot down and says he wants Bradley, period. I don't think Manny seems to have any real preference here, to be honest, but then who knows what Manny really thinks about anything? We don't see him hurling phones and yelling at Alex Ariza and fighting with his wife. We only see Smilin' Manny. That's all we've ever seen. It's been like a movie about a guy with inner turmoil, but they skip all that, and three-quarters into the film, they fade to black and then go, "Six months later..." and he's all, "Goddamn it, that was a dark fucking period!" but now he's content and happy and livin' his life.
Personally, I have no real rooting interest. I'm not wild about either fight, but I'd also be happy to watch either fight. It's high-level boxing one way or the other.
Pugmire also says (Lance Pugmire is having the best night ever, as best I can tell) that if Bradley does not land Pacquiao, he'll look to face Lamont Peterson for a second time.