• Welterweight

Pacquiao begins crunch meeting over next rival

ESPN staff
August 6, 2012 « Gold can be springboard to grand slam glory for Murray | Chartbeat test »

Bob Arum began discussions on Monday with Manny Pacquiao regarding his next opponent, with the promoter revealing the most lucrative option would be a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pacquiao is looking to bounce back after his June 9 loss to Timothy Bradley, which came by way of a controversial decision. Arum admits the Bradley fight has the best storyline, but would not do the best numbers.

"With Bradley, the general sports fan, at least anecdotally, wants them to have a rematch," Arum told ESPN.com. "People I go out to dinner with or people I visit with, they all talk about the rematch with Bradley, not a fourth fight with Marquez - but they aren't Hispanics. The Hispanic fans are the ones who want the fourth fight with Marquez."

Marquez's Hispanic fanbase provides most financial benefit for Pacquiao, based on previous pay-per-view buys. However, the pair have fought three times already, with Pacquiao winning twice and drawing one.

"Marquez did 400,000 buys more than Bradley," Arum revealed. "That fight did a little better than 900,000, so I have to consider that. And Marquez is very anxious for the fight, too."

The other option for the November 10 date, which stands regardless of opponent, is Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao has knocked out Cotto once before, in the 12th round, and Arum believes the Filipino fighter would be prepared to step up in weight.

"We could do a Cotto rematch, assuming we can come to an understanding on the weight," Arum said. "Cotto is talking about going to 160lbs to fight somebody, but we've been talking to Gaby and we'll sort it out. I think Manny would be willing to do it at 150lbs."

The name of Floyd Mayweather Jr is not an option right now, largely due to the fact Pacquiao is coming off a loss, but Arum insists the identity of Pacman's next rival will be decided over the coming seven days.

"I'll be over there for a week, and while I'm there we'll figure out what the plans are for his next fight," Arum said. "I've got to tell Manny what I can afford for each fight and we need to talk about each fight, but he makes his own decision.

"I've talked to him once earlier in the summer and he's been thinking about what he wants to do. He's going to fight on November 10, but we'll spend some time talking through everything and getting everything ironed out, and then I talk to the opponents and try to make a deal."

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