MACAU – It will be a short rest this time for Manny Pacquiao.
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum bared plans to have the boxing star from the Philippines fight again on April 12 in Las Vegas against a still unnamed opponent.
“Right now we have a tentative date of April 12,” Arum announced when asked what lies next for the Pacman after outclassing Brandon Rios for 12 rounds on Sunday at the Cotai Arena here.
The date meant the Filipino star would only have a five-month layoff, compared to almost a year of rest he had prior to facing the 27-year-old Rios.
As to who his opponent will be remains up in the air.
“Who the opponent is will still be discussed,” Arum stressed. “All of us will sit down (in the coming days) and figure it out.”
So far, four marquee names are in the running – World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, longtime Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez, reigning WBO light-welterweight title holder Ruslan Provodnikov, and unbeaten champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Trainer Freddie Roach was vocal in saying he wants another shot at Marquez, the 40-year-old warrior known as one of the best counter-punchers ever in the history of boxing.
Marquez dealt Pacquiao his worst career loss following a stunning upset last year that saw the Philippine pride knocked out cold in the sixth round.
“Personally, I want Marquez but the thing is, I don’t know if we can get him to agree to that because he wants a lot of money,” said Roach.
As always, Pacquiao said he’s ready to take on whoever wants to fight him.
“My job is to fight. Anybody who wants me I can fight. It all depends on my promoter Boby Arum,” he said.
But asked if he’ll agree to face Mayweather, the eight-time world champion said it’s up to the brash-talking American.
“I’m willing to fight Floyd, but it’s up to him.”