By Edward Chaykovsky
Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, says there are several options for Manny Pacquiao's first defense of the reclaimed WBO welterweight title on November 8th in Macau. The number one option is a fifth fight with former four division champion Juan Manuel Marquez.
A good backup option is WBO junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov, who uses Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach. Since Arum is now on good terms with Golden Boy Promotions President, Oscar De La Hoya, a longshot possibility is British star Amir Khan, who used to be Pacquiao's stablemate under Roach.
"Juan Manuel has not committed yet to the fight. I'll have the opportunity to speak with him maybe as soon as next week because I invited Juan Manuel and his wife to come to Macau so we have plenty of time to discuss it," Arum told ABS CBN News. "Ruslan is fighting on June 14 on HBO. It will be shown in the Philippines and so he is also a potential opponent."
"We will see which of these welterweights have been fighting for Golden Boy or on the contract to Golden Boy that Oscar can produce. Once we learn that, we can review those fighters. It could be Amir Khan. Canelo [Alvarez] is fighting too late. He's fighting in July. So for November, Canelo wouldn't be right. But maybe sometime next year."