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Arum says Pacquiao has more options, but Algieri and Abregu only names mentioned for next fight

Bob Arum says that Manny Pacquiao has a larger pool of opponents to choose from in November, but does he really? Not yet.

Jeff Gross
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Though it's highly unlikely to come down to just these two names, Chris Algieri and Luis Carlos Abregu are the two names mentioned in a report at The RING, with Bob Arum saying that due to the "end" of boxing's Cold War between Top Rank and Golden Boy, Manny Pacquiao has a lot more potential opponents for his scheduled November 22 return in Macau.

Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO) is coming off of an April 12 win over Timothy Bradley, which put the WBO welterweight title back around the waist most felt it never should have left in the first place, due to Bradley's highly controversial title-winning effort in their first fight back in 2012.

But that fight did disappointing PPV business in the United States, selling around 750-800,000, though to be fair it doesn't seem like that was much (any?) worse than what Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana did on May 3.

It was thought at one point that the winner of the May 17 fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado would be next for Pacquiao, but that may have just been wishful thinking on Top Rank's part, as Marquez isn't really showing any signs that he's about to change his mind on facing Pacquiao for a fifth time. Still, Pacquiao does have a welterweight title belt again, and Marquez's stated goal is to win a belt at 147 pounds. The other options would be Mayweather (WBC/WBA) or Shawn Porter (IBF), neither of which seem likely, and the former would be a rematch I doubt many are clamoring to see, as much of the buzz around Marquez has faded following his massive KO of Pacquiao in 2012.

But if it's not Marquez, then whom can Pacquiao face in November? Top Rank is low on in-house options. Algieri (20-0, 8 KO) is coming off of an upset win over Ruslan Provodnikov to claim a 140-pound title, and he and promoter Joe DeGuardia want the fight for sure, but is it salable, even given a lack of options? And would Abregu (36-1, 29 KO) really excite anyone on paper?

The real trick here might be that the U.S. PPV totals are not the top concern for Top Rank and Pacquiao going forward. The money in Macau seems to make up for any problems there, because they're going back after Pacquiao sold a woeful (for him) 550,000 PPVs against Brandon Rios in his debut at the Venetian last November.

The Golden Boy side potentially opens up more opponents, but that whole ordeal with Oscar De La Hoya and Al Haymon has yet to shake itself out, and while De La Hoya's company is currently setting up a handful of fights for Haymon guys (Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Lamont Peterson), none of them are fights against Top Rank guys. (When Arum works with Haymon, then the Cold War can be called over.)

If Marquez doesn't take the fight, Top Rank may not have anything really significant for Manny in November, with due respect to Algieri and Abregu, or anyone on that level. But Manny will be back one way or another.

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