By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Although no final decision has been made on who Manny Pacquiao will fight when he makes his return to the ring after his crushing 6th round knockout by Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez last December 8, Mike " Mile High" Alvarado who won his action-packed rematch against Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios is now in the mix among the four fighters being considered.
The 32 year old Alvarado has a record of 34-1 with 23 knockouts and fights as a light welterweight. He lost by a 7th round TKO to Rios on October 13, 2012 in what he believed was a premature stoppage but came back to win a twelve round unanimous decision in a rematch last March 30.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that he was "negotiating with everybody" but disclosed that "Macau is going to do the fight" following its highly successful staging of the WBO/WBA flyweight championship fight where the Philippines Brian Viloria lost a split decision to Mexico's Juan Francisco Estrada last April 6.
Arum said he was "looking at the first or second week of October" to stage the Pacquiao fight.
Although Pacquiao has stated he wants a fifth fight with Marquez indications are that Marquez is pricing himself out of it by reportedly demanding a purse of $20 million.
WBO welterweight champion Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley is a possible opponent and his manager Cameron Dunkin has expressed a preference for a fight against Pacquiao but Bradley apparently wants to fight Marquez with the winner likely to face Pacquiao.
However, its clear that Bradley would earn more if he fought Pacquiao who remains a major draw rather than if he faced Marquez even as it is certain that a Pacquiao-Marquez fifth fight would be a premier attraction.
Despite Pacquiao's announced desire to face Marquez there are some members of Team Pacquiao who are against it, fearing he may lose again.
Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz is in New York and has had meetings with Arum on the next Pacquiao fight and other issues but remained tight-lipped on the developments.