Boxing idol Manny Pacquiao could face a new foe next year if a rematch against unbeaten American Timothy Bradley or a fifth fight against long-time archrival Juan Manuel Marquez does not push through.
Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser Mike Koncz said negotiations for Pacquiao’s possible next opponent is ongoing with the Top Rank Promotion and his identity will be revealed before the Christmas holiday.
But Koncz said it is not necessary for Pacquiao (55-5-2 win-loss-draw slate with 38 knockouts) to face either Bradley or Marquez in his scheduled April 12 fight in US.
“We are not limiting our choices to Bradley or Marquez since there are many fighters available,” Koncz told the Manila Times Friday. “But so far I can’t comment on that since Top Rank hasn’t given us yet the list of Pacquiao’s next possible foes.”
Asked how about a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. dream bout this year, Koncz said: “Everybody likes to see that fight but there’s no negotiation at this moment.”
At the same time, Mayweather is set to fight in May next year against a still undetermined opponent.
If Bradley or Marquez is not available, Russian Ruslan “Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov would most likely be his next opponent, although Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach doesn’t like that fight to happen.
The Pacquiao-Rios fight last November 23 in Macau has generated little less than $500,000, according to Top Rank Promotion chief Bob Arum.
“It’s very, very difficult when you’re not doing the fight in the United States,” Arum, 82, told ESPN in an interview. “The [pay-per-view] industry told us when you do an event that far away, you can expect to do maybe 30 percent of what you would ordinarily do on the fight.”
Pacquiao, 34, scored a 12-round unanimous win over Mexican-American Brandon “Bam-Bam” Rios in that bout.
JOSEF T. RAMOS