Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez
Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao seems to be running out of lucrative fights after failing to name his next opponent for a fight that has long been calendared for November 10.
Critics are blaming Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, for taking boxing fans on a roller-coaster ride with his never-ending promise to name Pacquiao's next opponent since he met with the eight-division world champion in Manila early last month.
On August 24, ESPN reported that Arum would name Pacquiao's opponent Monday last week. No announcement happened, but there were unconfirmed reports that Pacquiao will fight on December 8 instead of November 10, though the date was later changed to December 1.
Prior to the ESPN report and right after his visit to Manila, Arum disclosed possible dates when the announcement would be made, but none came. Instead Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz said the fighting Congressman is having problems with his politics in relation to his fighting schedule.
Seemingly, the real reason for the delay in announcing Pacquiao's next opponent and official fight date is the fact that both Arum and Pacquiao are looking at the most lucrative fight from among the possible opponents in the Arum shortlist.
Timothy Bradley, who snatched Pacquiao's WBO welterweight crown in a controversial fight held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 9, is Pacquiao's weakest link to the lucrative pay-per-view (PPV) market, having pulled Pacquiao's PPV purchase numbers down to around 800,000 when they regularly are over a million buys.
According to Arum, Bradley's low PPV numbers are the stumbling block in the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch.
Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico, who lost to Pacquiao in 2009 via a 12-round TKO at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, was being pursued by Arum as Pacquiao's next foe because of his ability to generate more PPV buys.
It would seem the Puerto Rican ducked Arum by announcing a December 1 fight with unbeaten welterweight Austin Trout at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Probably frustrated with the recent turn of events, Arum is now focusing his sight on Mexican counterpuncher Juan Manuel Marquez.
It may be recalled that Arum expressed a preference to pursue a fourth fight with Marquez right after the Pacquiao-Marquez trilogy bout, which drew protests from mostly Mexican fans who thought Marquez won the fight though the judges ruled Pacquiao won via majority decision.
In the controversial judges' decision, Marquez said he was again robbed of his victory for the third time and wanted Pacquiao to face him for the fourth time in Mexico.
It would not come as a surprise to boxing fans if Marquez lands another lucrative fight with Pacquiao with the blessing of Bob Arum, who originally pushed for a fourth fight between his two cash cows.
Seemingly, this would be another successful deal for the wise businessman and astute promoter, Bob Arum.