Most everyone liked what they saw from Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 23, and it is clear that the Filipino is far from shot. His fans, the Manny-iacs, want to know when he'll glove up next, and against who. I asked his promoter Bob Arum for that intel today, in NYC, at the presser to hype the Top Rank AC show this Saturday.
"Pacquiao's fighting April 12 at the MGM, in Vegas," he said. "Assuming that the Mayweather thing doesn't come together, the three guys we're looking at now, and it's not exclusive of others, are Marquez, Bradley and Provodnikov."
I told Arum that maybe that Provodnikov fight might be the most appealing of the three options, but wait, didn't I hear that Ruslan would be opposed to that scrap, because he so respects Pacquiao? Yes, Arum said, the Siberian Rocky did say that publicly...but he indicated otherwise privately to Arum.
"I know what Provodnikov said to me, and it could be him saying he's not interested is a way to jack up the money," the promoter said. "He told me that he wants that fight, and his managers want him to take that fight." Provodnikov is co-promoted by Arthur Pelullo, for the record. Some folks think that Ruslan would turn down the fight and that trainer Freddie Roach would back him because Roach trains both Pacman and Provodnikov, so there's that...
Arum said that Marquez doesn't want to fight Manny a fifth time, in his opinion. I think Arum might not disagree with me that the moving and grooving Bradley we saw against Manny and in his last bout, against Marquez, isn't the fans choice for Manny's next.
Fights fans, who do you want for Manny's next?
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