Lem Satterfield

What’s next for Pacquiao?

Over a Tuesday evening dinner in Los Angeles, eight-division titlewinner Manny Pacquiao and his promoter, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, discussed the fighter’s future.

What they concluded was that Pacquiao “will definitely fight on Nov. 10,” said Arum.

Exactly whom Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts) will face remains a mystery.

But it will likley be a rematch with one of three opponents — current WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley, four-division and WBA and WBO junior welterweight titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez or three-division beltwinner Miguel Cotto – Arum told Yahoo!Sports.

“I spoke to Manny last night,” said Arum during an interview with RingTV.com on Wednesday. “He’s considering all of the options.”

On Wednesday, Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs) told WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel that he was vacating the organization’s 140-pound crown in order to retain the 147-pound version he won from Pacquiao via controversial split-decision victory on June 9.

In doing so, it appears that Bradley is set on pursuing a return bout with Pacquiao, whose 15-fight winning streak that included eight knockouts ended with the loss.

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“I don’t think that you can say that a rematch with Bradley is ‘likely,’” said Arum. “But he could possibly get a rematch.”

The Bradley-Pacquiao contract already had contained a clause calling for a rematch on Nov. 10, although Pacquiao was widely reported to be considering a fourth bout with Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) for that date in Mexico.

Pacquiao escaped with a disputed majority decision victory over Marquez in November, this, after having previously battled through a draw and a split-decision win over Marquez.

During an exclusive interview with RingTV.com, Marquez cited Fernando Beltran, president of Zanfer Promotions  as saying that Pacquiao was leaning toward facing him next. Beltran co-promotes Marquez with Top Rank out of Mexico.

Meanwhile Paquiao told The Associated Press in Manila, Philippines that he was “going to get that title” back from Bradley.

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Already the WBA’s junior welterweight titleholder, Marquez rebounded from the loss to Pacquiao with April’s unanimous decision over Sergei Fedchenko for the WBO’s interim junior welterweight belt. Bradley’s move, however, makes Marquez the WBO’s full junior welterweight titleholder and a four-division beltwinner.

And then there is Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs), whose advisor, Gaby Penagaricano, informed RingTV.com that Puerto Rican fighter would be open to rematches with Pacquiao or five-division, eight beltwinner Floyd Mayweather Jr., if not a shot at WBC middleweight beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr..

Cotto is coming off last month’s unanimous decision loss to Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs), who added the WBA junior middleweight belt to the WBC welterweight crown he already owned.

Cotto had scored three straight stoppage victories since being dethroned as WBO welterweight beltholder by 12th-round knockout against Pacquiao in November of 2010. Cotto’s run included December’s 10th-round stoppage of Antonio Margarito to avenge the first loss of his career.

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As for Mayweather, he began serving jail time on June 1 and is not expected to be released until Aug. 3.

Arum won’t say who is next for Pacquiao.

Not exactly, at any rate.

“What what we discussed is the fact that it will be one of the three, yes,” said Arum. “One of the three or Mayweather — but that’s a long shot.”

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photos by Chris Farina

Photos by Tom Hogan, Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

 

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