MANILA, Philippines - There’s no certainty that Manny Pacquiao will face Timothy Bradley in a rematch in November.
The president of Top Rank Inc. recently said Bradley, who snatched the WBO welterweight crown from Pacquiao last week in Las Vegas, is momentarily out of their radar screen.
“Right now, the rematch is something that we’re not proceeding with,” Todd duBeof told Jim Lampley’s boxing program “The Fight Game.”
There’s a rematch clause in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight contract, but the 33-year-old Filipino superstar clarified that it’s just “an option” on his part.
“It’s Manny’s choice. It’s his decision,” said Pacquiao’s chief adviser, Michael Koncz, who added that if ever Pacquiao entertains thoughts of the rematch it will depend on Bradley’s demands.
“It depends on how outrageous Bradley’s demands will be,” said Koncz.
As the new WBO welterweight champion who’s undefeated in 29 fights, Bradley may ask for the moon, perhaps a guaranteed purse of $10 million and a bigger share in the pay-per-view sales.
But as of now, Bradley can’t make those demands because Top Rank and Pacquiao are seriously looking at the possibility of a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.
A fourth fight with Marquez could be the better fight to make and to sell because all his three previous fights with Pacquiao were controversial and close.
Pacquiao’s fight with Bradley was never close, not perhaps until the closing rounds, and the Filipino ring superstar was way, way ahead in the official punch stats. Numbers don’t lie.
But the judges saw it otherwise, and two of them handed Bradley the victory.
“You cannot compare this fight with Pacquiao’s fights with Marquez because they were all close. Not this one. It was clear who the winner was – except for the judges,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
“We’re going to wait to hear from Manny. He wants to fight November 10th. We’ll have conversations, but I really think the public needs to have restored confidence,” added duBeof.
It’s a big question if the public would still buy a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch because of the outcome of last week’s fight.
Even Marquez, certainly not one of Pacquiao’s admirers, felt that the Filipino deserved to keep his WBO welterweight crown.
“You won, you won by four (rounds),” Marquez told Pacquiao in an interview with ESPN’s “Golpe A Golpe” boxing program where the Mexican counterpuncher dabbles as an analyst.
If a fourth fight with Marquez happens, it may no longer take place in Las Vegas because it’s one of the Mexican’s demands.
He felt he’d been robbed of a victory in Vegas thrice, and said he doesn’t want it to happen a fourth time, following a draw in 2004 and those split decisions in 2008 and 2011.
Pacquiao said he’s open to fighting Marquez in his own country. The Mexican also suggested Texas and California as alternative venues for the fourth match.
But Pacquiao said there’s nothing on the table yet.
“Wala pa naman. We still have to talk,” said the eight-time world champion in eight weight divisions.
Pacquiao rushed home, cutting short his family vacation in the United States, to be with his constituents in Sarangani, which is reeling from last week’s flash floods that left more than 80 persons missing and hundreds of families homeless.
If Pacquiao decides to fight Marquez in November, Bradley should fight someone else.
He can wait for Floyd Mayweather Jr. if he wants.