SAN FRANCISCO–Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will return to the ring in November against either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios in a big boxing event being planned in the Chinese resort city of Macau.
Pacquiao, 34, wanted an immediate rematch in September with his arch-rival Juan Manuel Marquez, but negotiations apparently bogged down on the question of purse-sharing.
Marquez is saying he finds Pacquiao-Marquez 5 no “longer necessary” because of the decisive result in his Dec. 8 match-up with Pacquiao, which ended with the Mexican counter-puncher knocking out the latter with barely a second in the sixth round of a thrilling fight.
However, Marquez had told the Mexican media that he wanted $20 million for a rematch with Pacquiao, more than thrice the estimated $6 million he got from his decisive win over Pacman in their HBO-televised pay-per-view match last December at the MGM Grand Arena.
Pacquiao grossed and estimated $25 million from that Marquez fight.
Last week, Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum, who also promotes World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, announced that Marquez has agreed to challenge Bradley for his 147-pound title at Las Vegas Thomas and Mack Center on Sept. 14, Mexican Independence Day weekend.
Marquez, who turns 40 on Aug. 23, hopes to win the title that Pacquiao lost to Marquez in a fight most people thought Pacman won decisively. Marquez, considered the greatest active Mexican fighter, would then become the only Mexican to win a fifth world title in as many weight divisions.
Arum said he remains confident that Pacquiao-Marquez would still happen, probably as early as the first quarter of 2014, should both fighters win their coming fights.
“Pacquiao-Marquez 5 is the biggest fight out there, and I’m sure it’s the fight sports fans would love to see,” Arum said.
In a way, the delay in the Pacquiao-Marquez rematch could be a blessing in disguise for Pacquiao because it gives the Filipino boxing hero more time to recover from the devastating, one-punch bomb that sent him crashing face-first in one of the worst beatings in recent ring history.
Should the unbeaten Bradley, 29, retain his title against Marquez (55-6-1, 40 knockouts), Pacquiao could face Bradley first to regain a title that rightly belongs to him and fight Marquez next.
And should Pacquiao, the only fighter to win world titles in eight different weight classes, continue his winning ways he could even revive the much-anticipated showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr., before the two boxing superstars retire from prizefighting.
Respected boxing analyst Larry Merchant told the FilAm Star in a recent interview that although Pacquiao’s ring comeback from his painful loss won’t be easy, Merchant thinks Pacquiao has the “mental toughness and physical ability” of an elite fighter to rebound.
Merchant observed that Pacquiao was actually winn