If eight-division title-winner Manny Pacquiao chooses a rematch with three-division belt-winner Miguel Cotto, then the likelihood is that four-division title-winner Juan Manuel Marquez will challenge WBO welterweight title-holder Tim Bradley, according to Top Rank CEO Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
Arum had originally reserved the MGM for an event on Nov. 10 to be headlined by Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts), who has been considering rematches with Bradley, Marquez or Cotto.
But with conflicts having to do with congressman Pacquiao’s political schedule, according to Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, and the fact that Cotto is considering a return date of Dec. 1 for Madison Square Garden, a second bout with Cotto became more of an option.
So if Pacquiao chooses Cotto(37-3, 30 KOs) for December, Marquez in a welterweight bout against Bradley seems to make the most sense as a potential HBO pay-per-view headliner for Nov. 10 at the MGM — a scenario was broached in an earlier report by RingTV.com.
“If it’s Cotto and Pacquiao, then Bradley and Marquez will fight each other,” said Arum. “That is correct. That’s not wrong. That’s logical, and the fighters have agreed to that.”
Cotto is coming off May’s unanimous-decision loss to five-division, eight-belt winner Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0, 26 KOs), who added Cotto’s WBA junior middleweight belt to the WBC welterweight crown he already owned.
Cotto had scored three straight stoppage victories since losing by 12th-round knockout to Pacquiao in November of 2010, including December’s 10th-round stoppage of Antonio Margarito to avenge the first loss of his career.
Pacquiao’s incentive could be the money and the desire to defeat Cotto worse than Mayweather did, and to drum up even more enthusiasm for a mega-bout with Mayweather in 2013.
In January, however, barriers to a Pacquiao-Cotto rematch centered on Cotto’s ability to come down to 147 pounds. Earlier reports had indicated Pacquiao’s likely choice to be Cotto over Mayweather, Marquez, Bradley or then-IBF/WBA junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson.
“Now, the question is…Manny is not reluctant to fight Cotto, but Cotto may be reluctant to fight Manny,” said Arum. “That’s what we’ll have to see. So the Cotto people will get back to me tomorrow or Friday.”
Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs), who turned 29 on Aug. 29, could get another shot at Pacquiao after winning by controversial split-decision in June to end Pacquiao’s 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs), who turned 39 on Aug. 23, has lost by disputed majority decision in November to Pacquiao as well as by a draw and a split-decision loss previously.
Already the WBA junior welterweight titleholder, Marquez rebounded from the loss to Pacquiao with April’s unanimous decision over Sergei Fedchenko for the WBO’s interim junior welterweight belt.
“Manny will make a decision by the end of the week,” said Arum. “And then, we’ll go from there.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]