By Ronnie Nathanielsz
TOP Rank promoter Bob Arum has flatly ruled out undefeated World Boxing Association super featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, as well as Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero as possible opponents for Manny Pacquiao in his scheduled return to the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 12.
Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Gamboa’s name didn’t even come up in his discussions with Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz, while he dismissed trainer Freddie Roach’s statement that Guerrero would be worth fighting because an impressive win by Pacquiao, would put him closer to a shot against Floyd Mayweather Jr. as “nonsense.”
Guerrero lost his World Boxing Council welterweight title to Mayweather by a lopsided 12-round decision last May 4, 2013 and is currently embroiled in a legal battle to try and get out of his contract with Golden Boy Promotions.
Arum conceded that only two opponents are on the short list for Pacquiao’s next fight and they are World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, who won a hugely controversial split decision over Pacquiao in June, 2012 and the Pacman’s former sparring partner and WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov.
Arum, who met with Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz on Monday, said he expects a decision to be made within the next two days, although Koncz said it would probably take until the end of the week.
Asked why the delay since he had earlier indicated they would know by Tuesday, Koncz explained: “I am trying to work out the best possible purse for Manny that I can. There are a lot of variables but I think we are going to have it wrapped up this week.”