MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao is either busy with the coming elections or he’s just trying to keep his cards close to his chest.
The Filipino boxing superstar told the media earlier this week that the May elections have left him with no time at all to think about boxing.
He said he has yet to decide or even consider whom to fight next, when and where.
Pacquiao is seeking a second term as Sarangani congressman. His wife is running as vice governor and his brother also as congressman in the province.
Pacquiao said the soonest he would think about boxing is in June.
But his legal adviser, Franklin Gacal, the other day sounded like there’s something going on, and it may have something to do with a fifth with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao faced Marquez a fourth time last December. He went down in the third round but seemed close to stopping the Mexican when he was knocked out cold with only a second left in the sixth round.
Pacquiao was ahead on all scorecards when the end came.
The 34-year-old Filipino had since longed to avenge the devastating loss, and while he opts to stay quiet it appears that a fifth fight with Marquez in September is what he wants.
Of course, Marquez wants the fight because it’s the only fight where he can make as much as he wants. He was guaranteed $6 million for the fourth one, and was reported to be asking $20 million the next time.
It’s not likely that Marquez will get that amount. But it’s part of the negotiations and at the end of the day he might do it if he gets more than half of what he’s asking right now.
Gacal said only if Marquez declines will Pacquiao look at the others, including Timothy Bradley, Brandon Rios, Mike Alvarado or the highly elusive Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“Kung talagang ayaw ni Marquez baka no choice,” said Gacal.
If it’s not Marquez, then it could be Bradley, who dealt Pacquiao a controversial loss last June.
Pacquiao’s adviser, Mike Koncz, will sit down with Top Rank chief Bob Arum this week. They will look at all the options, the possible opponents and possible venues.
Pacquiao may skip the United States as venue because of higher taxes, and is looking at Macau, Singapore or Mexico City, the latter of course if it’s against Marquez.
Anything is possible, according to Gacal.
“Si Manny, kahit sino naman okay sa kanya (Any opponent is fine with Manny),” he said.