LAS VEGAS — A deal is expected to be finalized on Wednesday regarding the next opponent for Manny Pacquiao, who has apparently chosen a rematch with either Tim Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez, according to the boxer’s advisor, Michael Koncz.
Koncz informed RingTV.com that he was driving to Las Vegas to “finalize” the match up with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who is promoting Saturday night’s HBO Pay Per View-televised card headlined by WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. defending against RING champion Sergio Martinez at the Thomas and Mack Center.
“I had a lengthy conversation with Manny last night, and I’m driving to Las Vegas right now with Manny’s final instructions to meet with Bob Arum and to work out a couple of issuess and to finalize Manny’s opponent in Vegas. But Manny will definitely be fighting on Dec. 8,” said Koncz.
“This negotiation has gone from one side to the other side very quickly, but until later today, we won’t know the opponent. So I’m on my way to Las Vegas right now, and more likely than not, Bob and I will discuss it after the [press conference for Chavez-Martinez.] I don’t think that I will get there until 11:30 or so, and I don’t want to rush my discussion with Arum.”
The Chavez Jr.-Martinez press conference is scheduled for noon at The Wynn Hotel.
The scenario has Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts) looking at a second fight with Bradley or a fourth match against Marquez likely on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, said Koncz.
Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs) defeated Pacquiao by controversial split-decision in June for the WBO’s 147-pound belt, ending Pacquiao’s 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) lost by disputed majority decision in November to Pacquiao as well as by a draw and a split-decision loss previously.
Marquez bounced back from the loss to Pacquiao with April’s unanimous decision over Sergei Fedchenko for the WBO’s interim junior welterweight belt, which has since been “upgraded” by the organization to full title status.
“We’re done negotiating,” said Koncz. “We’ll present everything to Bob, and he will decide what he wants to do.”