Michael Marley of the Examiner reports this afternoon that 154-pound titlist Yuri Foreman has been "formally rejected" by Freddie Roach and Michael Koncz as the March 20 opponent for Manny Pacquiao, who now finds himself looking for an opponent after talks to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. crumbled.
Marley spoke with Foreman's manager, Murray Wilson, who blasted the Pacquiao camp:
"I am disgusted," Wilson told Examiner.com and Boxingconfidential. "Manny fought Oscar de la Hoya, beat him so badly he put him into retirement, and Oscar’s [a] half inch shorter than my guy Yuri is.
"I told them to go f**k themselves. Here was a chance for Pacman to try for a record eighth weight divison world title and they don’t want it now. All of a sudden, Yuri is too tall. Let them go to Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus and find a midget for him to fight then."
So who is Pacquiao going to fight? Does he really want to fight in March at all?
There were the talks that Paulie Malignaggi would face Pacquiao, but now he appears to be the target of Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Mayweather has some advantage there since Golden Boy and Lou DiBella (Malignaggi's promoter) have worked together on Paulie's last two fights.
Could we seriously wind up seeing the two biggest fighters in boxing go into a bidding war over Paulie Malignaggi? If so, hats off to Paulie and DiBella. I mean, there's rebuilding a career, and then there's suddenly becoming the most sought-after opponent in boxing. That would be absolutely crazy.
Timothy Bradley (promoted by Gary Shaw) has said he wants to fight both Manny and Floyd, and I have absolutely no doubt that Bradley has the guts to go in on March 20 with Pacquiao.
Recently, Freddie Roach said he wanted a trilogy fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, a matchup that has lost appeal for many fans because of Pacquiao's continuing dominance and the way Marquez was run over by Mayweather. I personally see it as a pretty predictable Pacquiao knockout, something similar to Manny's third fight with a past-it Erik Morales.
The other roadblock there is obvious: Marquez is a Golden Boy fighter.
If they're serious about March 20, how about this: Joshua Clottey. Top Rank fighter, top contender, welterweight, and he has no fight set. Do you think there's any chance Top Rank risks the Pacquiao cash cow against a spoiler like Clottey?
The options are very limited. There's just not much out there that cuts the mustard, and I have my doubts they'll fight a guy like Bradley, or a guy like Clottey. Even if they want Marquez, Golden Boy just might not let it happen. Malignaggi might be busy.