by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz have both indicated the “Fighter of the Decade” will make a decision tomorrow (Thursday, Manila Time) who he will fight on December 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In an overseas telephone conversation with the Manila Standard, Arum said “We will know who he (Pacquiao) is fighting, the date is December 8 and its going to be at the MGM Grand and we’ll know the opponent and everything is a done deal.”
Arum indicated the choice is “officially” between Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley and Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez, adding “you can use your intuition to figure out who its going to be.”
Arum himself had told us some time ago that US pay-per-view networks were reluctant to do a Bradley fight claiming he doesn’t draw big numbers. In fact the last fight with Pacquiao registered a mere 700,000 PPV buys which was almost half the number of buys in Pacquiao-Marquez III which ended in a hugely controversial split decision in favor of the Filipino eight-division world champion.
Besides, most boxing aficionados felt Pacquiao beat Bradley handily although Bradley won a split decision and Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title with a world-wide howl of protest over the decision which Arum himself blasted the judges, referring to them as “three blind mice.”
Koncz told us that “many will definitely fight on December 8” and that he (Koncz) “will fly to Las Vegas in the morning to hammer out the final points as to who he will fight.”
Fernando Beltran who handles Marquez is confident that Pacquiao will face the Mexican for a fourth time after earlier announcing that it was 95 percent done.
However, boxingscene.com’s Rick Reeno reports that while Marquez has been pushed as the frontrunner by Beltran “it appears that WBO welterweight champion Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) is still in the race.”