Who will be Manny Pacquiao’s first opponent for 2012?
In an article published by Ring Magazine, Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, and his advisor, Michael Koncz has selected four candidates.
“I’m going to the Philippines on January 8, and I should be there on January 10. I’m going to shortly, thereafter, meet with Manny. And we’re going to be offering Manny four potential opponents — Cotto, Marquez, Bradley and Peterson.”
He is talking about WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto, WBA/WBO lightweight titleholder Juan Manuel Marquez, IBF/WBA junior welterweight beltwinner Lamont Peterson and WBO division welterweight champion Tim Bradley.
Conspicuously absent from the list is the man every fan is hoping Pacquiao would fight next, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
It’s because on December 21, 2011, a judge sentenced Mayweather to serve 90 days in the county jail for battery upon his ex-girlfriend in September 2010. In addition to the sentence of 90 days in the county jail, Mayweather was ordered to complete 100 hours community service, a 12-month domestic violence program, and pay a fine of $2,500.
Pacquiao is coming off of his 15th straight win: a controversial majority decision over Marquez whom he had battled through a draw and a split-decision victory in two prior meetings.
If he chooses MARQUEZ it will be an unprecedented fourth fight between the two warriors. Their third bout last November 12, 2011 was a huge hit at the pay-per-view market generating 1.4 million buys. With Pacquiao’s massive international appeal and Marquez’ huge Mexican fan base, Pacquiao vs Marquez IV could even break that record.
Pacquiao had previously annihilated COTTO in 2009 pummeling him all throughout the fight until the referee mercifully stopped it 55 seconds into the 12th and final round. Cotto has since recovered winning the WBA light middleweight title and defending it twice. He might pose a real threat to Pacquiao this time with his plethora of revenge.
Last January 2010, BRADLEY dethroned Devon Alexander as WBC junior welterweight beltholder, adding that crown to the WBO title that he already owned. He was then stripped of his WBC title as he refused to fight then WBA Welterweight Champion Amir Khan. After joining Top Rank and before making his debut in the undercard of Pacquiao vs Marquez III (he knocked-out veteran Joel Casamayor in the 8th round), Pacquiao himself said that Bradley could be next after Marquez.
PETERSON was put into the limelight after defeating then WBA and IBF light welterweight champion Amir Khan in a Fight of the Year candidate last December where he pulled an upset winning via split decision. A rematch looks likely due to the controversial nature of the fight brought by poor officiating and scorecard discrepancies.
Manny Pacquiao will face either of the four possibly on May 5, 2012, Cinco de Mayo – a national holiday in the United States and Mexico and usually reserved for big boxing events.