THE date has been confirmed, but on who Manny Pacquiao will face remains a big mystery.
Bob Arum, the big boss of Top Rank Promotions, said Pacquiao remains on track for a November 10 ring return, although he and the 33-year-old Filipino boxing star failed to reach an agreement on his next opponent in a meeting in General Santos City on Friday.
Arum, who has been promoting the future Hall of Famer since 2006, has been adamant in bringing to the table the names of Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. But his client is obviously not biting.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao’s rival as boxing’s top attraction today, has likewise been thrown into the mix following his release from jail last week. Although the boxing pride of the Philippines has been vocal about his desire to finally meet the brash-talking American inside the ring, Arum is not convinced a bout of such magnitude can be made in three months.
At the earliest, the Top Rank executive said a Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown is plausible by next year.
Arum is obviously trying to convince Pacquiao to pick up the rematch clause in his fight contract with Bradley, who stunned the boxing world two months ago after pulling off a shocking split decision against the Pacman to wrest the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title.
“If he doesn’t do that, then that (rematch) clause is totally thrown away,” said Arum on Saturday prior to his return to the US.
At 38, Marquez remains an enticing opponent despite having fought Pacquiao three times, each of which ended under a cloud of controversy, including the last one in November 2011 won by the Filipino boxing idol via a majority decision.
Arum hopes Pacquiao would be able to come up with a final decision in a week’s time.