Another day has gone by and the boxing world is still waiting for 8-division world champion Manny Pacquiao to select his next opponent. While the MGM Grand Garden Arena has allegedly been requested by Top Rank for December 8th, and promoter Bob Arum is confident that a decision will be made by the end of the week, both he and adviser Michael Koncz have been promising a decision since the beginning of August, when Koncz, who one would assume is closest to Pacquiao, proclaimed, "We've been talking about things already, Manny and I, but I'm in Los Angeles right now. We should know by the end of next week." That was over four weeks ago, yet a final decision still has not been made, despite the fact that there were only 3 names to choose from. As each passing day goes by, I'm beginning to wonder if Pacquaio even plans on fighting again this year.
In fact, Bob Arum himself has to be wondering that very same question. After all, having already had advance meetings with Koncz before traveling to the Philippines in early August to discuss the options with Pacquiao, Arum was hoping to expedite the selection process and announce the opponent in late August. Confident that the decision would be an easy one, Arum had already planned a multi-city press conference tour, which was supposed to begin yesterday (September 4th), to announce the planned November 10th bout. Of course, that was before news broke that Pacquiao's return to the ring would be pushed back to either December 1st or December 8th. It was reported that decision was made due to Pacquiao having to interrupt his training camp in order to return to the Philippines in October to file for re-election. After a spokesman from the Philippine Commission on Election refuted that claim, however, Arum quickly suggested that November 10th was still in play for Pacquiao's return. Unfortunately for Arum, there was still no decision from Pacquiao, which left him no choice but to officially postpone Pacquiao's next fight until December 8th.
The question now is, will Arum have to postpone Pacquiao's next fight until some time in 2013? There has still been no word on who Pacquiao plans on choosing, and this is after Miguel Cotto removed himself as a possibility nearly 5 days ago. As each day goes by, the window of opportunity to plan and promote a December 8th bout is passing by. Not only that, but Pacquiao's indecision is inhibiting Top Rank's ability to move forward and promote a potential pay-per-view event, one that could headline a clash between two former Pacquiao opponents, Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, should he decide to sit out the remainder of the year.
As our sources previously revealed, Pacquiao has been reluctant about facing Juan Manuel Marquez, concerned that another close or controversial outcome could impact a potential 2013 clash with Floyd Mayweather. Make no mistake, as a last resort, Top Rank will have no problems with staging a rematch with Bradley, as a Pacquiao fight with low pay-per-view buys is still extremely profitable. That said, it appears Pacquiao has been coy about a decision either way, which makes one wonder if he truly plans on fighting again this year. "I am also waiting for him to make a decision," Arum would tell Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin one week ago. "He is not obligated to fight. If Manny doesn't want to fight this year, all he has to do is tell us." Perhaps Pacquiao's reluctance to select an opponent is telling Arum exactly what he needs to know. Either way, according to Arum, we should be finding out by the end of the week...unless, of course, Arum once again postpones the announcement of Pacquiao's decision.