by Ronnie Nathanielsz
With the increasing likelihood that the two men who beat Manny Pacquiao last year may face each other in the second week of September at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Pacquiao is left to choose between Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios and Mike Alvarado for a scheduled October 12 fight date.
Pacquiao had wanted to fight Marquez for a fifth time in an effort to avenge his stunning 6th round knockout by the Mexican legend at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last December 8 but is likely to have to settle for Rios or Alvarado who are both exciting fighters.
Rios and Alvarado have engaged in two action-packed bouts with Rios winning their first meeting by a 7th round TKO at the Home Depot in Carson City, California on the undercard of the Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire – Jeffrey Mathebula unification super bantamweight title fight, but subsequently dropping a twelve round unanimous decision in the rematch at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel & Casino on March 30 this year in a clash for the WBO Interim light welterweight title.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that the Marquez-Bradley fight “looks like it will happen” although it hasn’t been finalized as yet which would leave Pacquiao “to fight either Alvarado or Rios.”
Alvarado is the WBO 140 pound interim champion while Rios is ranked No.1.
Arum also told us the Pacquiao ring return following his shocking 6th round knockout at the hands of Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last December 8 may take place in Singapore instead of the Venetian in Macau but that a decision will be known by Wednesday.
Pacquiao himself is right now deeply involved in the election campaign in Sarangani province where wife Jinkee is running for vice governor and brother Rogelio is seeking the congressional seat in General Santos City against Pedro Acharon, formerly a close friend of Pacquiao.
Pacquiao is also reportedly supporting several other candidates running for various positions in the local elections.
However, he keeps in shape by playing basketball.