Arum to Offer Pacquiao Cotto, Marquez, Bradley or Peterson for Next Fight

Briggs Seekins@BriggsfighttalkFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 12:  Boxer Manny Pacquiao prays in the corner of the ring after his WBO world welterweight title fight against Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena November 12, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao retained his title with a majority decision victory.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images is reporting that Bob Arum will travel to the Philippines next week to meet with Manny Pacquiao and begin the selection process for Pacman's next opponent.

According to statements made by Arum to The Ring, Top Rank will be offering Pacquiao one of four possible opponents: Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Lamont Peterson or Timothy Bradley. From the article:

"I'm going to the Philippines on January 8, and I should be there on January 10. I'm going to shortly, thereafter, meet with Manny," said Arum, who also promotes Bradley and Cotto. "And we're going to be offering Manny four potential opponents -- Cotto, Marquez, Bradley and Peterson." 

Conspicuously absent from this list is Floyd Mayweather Jr. With Mayweather scheduled to enter a jail cell later this week, it now appears that the "fight everybody wants to see" will continue to remain unmade until at least late in 2012.

Of the four offered opponents offered, I think only Marquez, 53(39)-6-1, has the ability to excite large numbers of serious and casual fans alike.

There is widespread sentiment that Marquez deserved the victory in their fight last November; Pacquiao's majority decision win was certainly far less decisive than any of his other recent wins. 

I have no interest in seeing him fight Miguel Cotto, 37(30)-2(2), again. Cotto's December TKO stoppage of nemesis Antonio Margarito was impressive, but it did not in anyway convince me that he would be any less likely to get brutalized by Manny Pacquiao in a rematch. 

Even if the fight took place at a true, 154 pound jr. middleweight limit (which is extremely doubtful), I am convinced that Pacquiao would still be too quick and would hit Cotto too many times, from too many different angles.

Cotto clearly re-established himself as one of the sport's top draws in 2011. I would rather see him bankroll that into exciting fights in the jr. middleweight division against such potential future superstars as James Kirkland or Saul Alvarez.

To have him drop down for a catchweight "Super Fight" against a guy who has already beaten him decisively just seems to me like poor, short-sighted treatment of the Puerto Rican icon.