Manny Pacquiao is busy preparing for an election in the Philippines, but when he is done he can begin to focus on his next fight. According to his promoter Bob Arum, that fight will be against either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios.
Arum told the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire Tuesday that Juan Manuel Marquez will fight Timothy Bradley later in the year (they are currently aiming for a Sept. 14 date, though that could change). Marquez and Bradley deciding to fight each other took away two potential rematch options for the Filipino. After winning 15 straight fights, Pac-Man lost to Bradley and Marquez in back-to-back fights. Marquez opted to face Bradley instead of Pacquiao for a fifth time.
Marquez’s decision to fight Bradley leaves Pacquiao with two options: Alvarado or Rios. Both Alvarado and Rios are signed to Arum’s Top Rank company. They fought each other in their last two fights, with Rios winning the first slugfest last October, and Alvarado getting revenge in March. Neither fighter has fought anyone close to the caliber of Pacquiao.
According to Arum, one of the reasons Marquez turned down a fight with Pacquiao is because Pac-Man wants to fight in Asia. Marquez reportedly did not believe the pay-per-view revenue for such a fight would be as strong as one in the US. Pacquiao wants to fight in Asia for tax purposes.
Pacquiao’s election is in May. He is likely to fight in Macau in November.
Another twist to the whole saga is what is going on with the Sept. 14 date. Floyd Mayweather Jr. has long said he planned to fight that date against a to-be-determined opponent. Arum is making plans for have Marquez and Bradley to fight on that date. He thinks Mayweather may back out of the date, but he has said he will move dates if Golden Boy Promotions sticks to that date for Mayweather.