Promoter Fernando Beltran says that a deal is "95%" done to stage a fourth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8, and that only a signed contract from Pacquiao needs to be delivered.
Those of you who have been following this Manny's Choice saga in the last two weeks or so will know that the fight went from November 10 to December 1 to November 10 to December 1 or 8 and now to December 8 officially, with HBO pay-per-view carrying whatever it winds up being.
An alleged option was Miguel Cotto, who was more smokescreen than anything, if you ask me, but did serve to beef up the lousy blog posts of stinking rotten blogger blogs. Cotto did apparently give Top Rank his ideas for a fight, which mostly amounted to, "Cram it, I'm not fighting under 154," and then he signed to face Austin Trout on December 1.
So we were left with Marquez and Timothy Bradley. And it looks like it's going to be Marquez.
If the announcement does come as we should probably expect it will this week, I'm certain we're in for a mixed reaction. Some will like the fight. Some will not much care at all. Others will hate it and have fits. Personally, I'm OK with it, but I'm certainly not dying to see this thing for a fourth time. Manny seems to get more tentative every time he faces Marquez, who is as much in is head as anything, I believe, and I expect neither a conclusive, decisive win for either man, nor a particularly good fight beyond it being two tremendous fighters in the ring together, locked in another chess match.
But it's fine, and obviously it's a big fight. Much bigger, I would say, than the Bradley rematch would be. Truthfully, and nothing against Bradley, I see no real demand for that fight out there, and it seems like Tim has barely been considered. I think Cotto and Marquez would both have had to actually turn down the date for Bradley to get a rematch with Manny.
If Pacquiao vs Marquez IV does happen, it sounds like Bradley might rematch Lamont Peterson, if Peterson can get licensed in Nevada and all that. Those two fought back in December 2009, and Bradley was just plain better in every way, but it was a good fight and Peterson was competitive throughout. He just didn't win rounds, which is pretty crucial to winning a fight. Personally, I'd expect the same fight again. That could happen on November 10.