Pacman foe, fight date still up in the airBy Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANNY Pacquiao can’t seem to finalize his schedule of activities for the rest of year 2012, in particular the date of his next fight, which was originally set for Nov. 10 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, then moved to Dec. 1, then back again to Nov. 10.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum made arrangements with the Nevada State Boxing Commission for the Nov. 10 date based on the original schedule agreed upon by the parties concerned.
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At this stage, nobody in Pacquiao’s camp can tell for sure who his next opponent will be although Nov. 10 is just two and a half months away. Is it one of the three presented by Arum when he and the Sarangani congressman met in General Santos? The list was made up of Tim Bradley, Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez. Or is it Pacquiao’s choice, Floyd Mayweather Jr., the other boxing superstar of the much-awaited “Fight of the Century”?
Among the three recommended by Arum, the choice may actually be down to two, since Cotto has a fight scheduled at the Madison Square Garden on Dec. l, which could be one of the reasons for the change in Manny’s fight calendar.
According to unconfirmed reports, the conflict in schedule was a television issue. Does this mean that Cotto’s fight is expected to generate a bigger pay-per-view revenue?
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“Manny is trying to juggle too many responsibilities,” said boxing scribe Abac Cordero, who regularly covers Pacquiao fights. “He’s a champion boxer, a congressman, a bible preacher, a television game show host. Then the possibility of a superfight with Mayweather came up and made things even more complicated.
“Manny’s not sure if he wants another fight other than that against Mayweather.”
If such is the case and Manny stands firm on what he wants to do, then Arum will have to make cancellations again because Mayweather will only agree to a fight with Pacquiao in April of 2013.
Why April? I really don’t know. I know Manny’s contract with Top Rank expires next year, I’m just not sure of the exact date.
I also know that Mayweather refuses to fight Pacquiao as long as Arum is still his promoter.
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Gerry Ramos, another boxing scribe who regularly covers Pacquiao fights, offers two schools of thought.
“First, for all we know, there may really be back door negotiations going on for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.
“Second, the runaround couldbe Manny’s polite way of saying to Arum, “Ayoko ‘yang mga kalaban na binibigay mo sa akin (I don’t like the boxers you’ve chosen for me). Let me fight Mayweather!”
“You see, Manny is the type of person who sometimes can’t say no to people close to him. So instead of turning down Arum’s proposal outright, he does it in a roundabout manner,” Ramos added.
A third and equally knowledgeable boxing scribe, who refused to be identified, has a more intriguing theory to offer.
“Maybe, just maybe, Manny has come to realize na nilaglag siya ni (that he was taken for a ride by) Arum in the last fight so he’s making life difficult for him,” he said.
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HOOPVINE: Fearless forecast from PDI’s Jasmine Payo, head of the UAAP Press Corps for basketball: “I think Ateneo, FEU, UST and NU will make it to the Final Four. It’s harder to predict this season if Ateneo will go all the way. All four teams have a good shot at the title. The four teams are currently at the upper half of the standings going into the second round of eliminations … Alaska assistant manager CK Kanapi reports that with Leo Austria failing to make a definite commitment, the Aces’ assistant coaches are Dickie Bachmann, Topex Robinson, Louie Alas and Alex Compton. The head coach is Luigi Trillo.
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- Pacquiao-Rios a slam-bang fight