Promoter ‘all ears’ for a potential Sergio Martinez-Manny Pacquiao fight


Promoter Lou DiBella said he would be "all ears" in regard to a future bout between eight-division titlewinner Manny Pacquiao and RING and WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez should the latter get beyond a June 7 defense against three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto at New York's Madison Square Garden on HBO Pay-Per-View.

Speaking about the 35-year-old Pacquiao's current negotiatioins for a contract extension with Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum which would entail five fights through 2016, Arum named a bout with Martinez among the down-the-road possibilities.

"Indeed, who wouldn't want to see Pacquiao against Martinez?" asked Arum. "If Martinez is successful and can come down in weight a little bit. Pacquiao might even decide to fight Martinez."

DiBella's response?

"That would be a wonderful thing. We would love to have that opportunity," said DiBella. "I'm all ears. We'll talk. After Sergio beats Miguel Cotto, I'll be happy to sit down and talk."

Pacquiao's advisor, Michael Koncz, acknowledged amicable discussion with Arum, even as he said the eight-division titlewinner is broaching the idea of promoting himself under his own MP Promotions banner and partnering with others for his fights.

"Arum has a company to protect and I have a fighter and a friend to protect. We may extend our contract with Bob. Bob has been good to us and we have nothing negative to say about Top Rank but we have to decide what's best for Manny at this stage of his career." said Koncz in reference to Top Rank, Pacquiao's promoter since 2005.

"We've been with Top Rank a long time and they were good to us, so we don't know. If we don't extend our contract with Top Rank, we may go out on our own and promoter ourselves. Maybe we'll have a partner and promote ourselves. We have not talked about any opponents."

Pacquiao is coming off a unanimous decision over Tim Bradley on April 12, regaining the WBO welterweight title belt he lost by disputed decision in June 2012.

Prior to the Bradley rematch, Pacquiao lost by sixth-round stoppage to Juan Manuel Marquez, against whom he is 2-1-1 but rebounded with November's unanimous decision over Brandon Rios.

The WBO has mandated that Pacquiao face the winner of a May 17 welterweight bout between Marquez and Mike Alvarado.