Op-Ed: Who will Manny Pacquiao face in September?
Despite his stunning loss to long-time foe Juan Manuel Marquez last December 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Manny Pacquiao is set to start training camp as early as June or July next year for a comeback fight in September.
Pacquiao has publicly announced he will continue fighting despite opposition from his mother Dionisia and wife Jinkee, who both want him to retire now.
Pacquiao, whose Ring
pound-for-pound ranking has been downgraded to No.7
after his loss to Marquez, told his fans and supporters around the world that he will continue fighting, saying "we will rise again".
The former pound for pound king is hoping he will face Marquez for the fifth time but like Pacquiao's wife Jinkee, Marquez' wife Erika, also wants her husband to retire now.
While Pacquiao has the final decision on his career path, Marquez seems to be more obedient to his wife's wishes.
"When I make my decision , it will be final. I don't want to be someone who retires and then comes right back. I am talking to my wife and trying to convince her (to let me fight once more)," Marquez said.
There is plenty of time for Marquez to decide on his career path. He also plans to seek a fifth world title before retiring.
"I wish my wife would give the green light (permission) to continue boxing and seek a fifth world title," said the 39-year-old Marquez. "I am trying to convince her." Read more
Assuming Marquez will succumb to her wife's decision for him to retire now, Pacquiao will be left without a worthy and financially viable opponent.
Other than Marquez and unbeaten, and now pound for pound king, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., it seems there is no other fighter in the division who could bring the right revenue to the table.
Brandon Rios has been mentioned as possible opponent of Pacquiao but his promoter Bob Arum will have to think twice as Rios is not a pay-per-view (PPV) attraction at this time.
A rematch with Timothy Bradley is another option. But earlier, Arum has ruled out the possibility of a rematch between Bradley and Pacquiao due to Bradley's poor PPV numbers
This situation leaves Mayweather as Pacquiao's best option for a September fight.
Mayweather is set to return to the ring on May 4 against Robert Guerrero
(not yet official) and a September clash with Pacquiao will be most ideal, giving Mayweather at least four months to train.
Still, there is no certainty in a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight as the unbeaten champion is being managed by Golden Boy Promotions, a known business rival of Arum's Top Rank Promotions.
Top Rand and Golden Boy have been negotiating for over three years on the proposed mega fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather but no agreement has been reached reportedly due to their intense and bitter business rivalry .
Given these situations and If no Marquez and Mayweather, who then will Pacquiao fight next?