Once again, another weekend has gone by and 8-division world champion Manny Pacquiao still hasn't made up his mind about his next opponent. According to promoter Bob Arum, he has no idea what's going on or why a decision has yet to be made. Of course, that hasn't stopped Arum from planning a press conference on September 18 to announce the fight. According to a source, however, Arum knows exactly what's going on, and the root of the problem, as usual, is money.
Just last Thursday, Arum informed Lance Pugmire of the LA Times that Pacquiao and his opponent would be in Los Angeles next week to kick off a multi-city promotional tour. While speaking to Pugmire, Arum comes off calm as he praises Pacquiao for taking his time in making such a difficult selection. "Manny is being mature in his decision," Arum explains. "He's taking his time, really thinking about it. Before, it was spur of the moment. Now he's considering all of it." Nevertheless, he was confident that Pacquiao would make his final decision between Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez very soon.
Fast-forward a couple days and now, Arum seems as though he's out of the loop and doesn't really know what's going on with Pacquiao's decision. "I have no idea. I don't understand what's going on," Arum would recently tell Ronnie Nathanielsz of Manila Standard Today. Despite the fact that Arum now seems confused, Pacquiao lawyer, Franklin Gacal, still maintains that Pacquiao is still deciding between his two options. "I think he will definitely fight on December 8 and he is deciding on whether it is Bradley or Marquez," Gacal would also tell Nathanielsz.
One thing I've learned over the years from speaking to several people inside Pacquiao's camp is that when Gacal starts talking, there's usually a money issue involved. According to our source, the money that Pacquiao is being guaranteed for either of his choices isn't to his liking, so he's still holding out and waiting for Arum to sweeten the pot. "He [Pacquiao] actually prefers Bradley because he thinks it's the easier fight, but Arum insists that the money isn't there to pay him anything close to what he made in the first fight," our source explained. "If he's going to fight Marquez, he wants to be paid a lot more...and I mean a lot more. He saw what Mayweather made against Cotto and he wants a number closer to that."
Apparently, Pacquiao's of the opinion that he should be guaranteed another career-high purse to face a man who continues to be his toughest opponent. The only problem with that is that Marquez also expects to make more money should they face each other again. In their last encounter, Pacquiao was guaranteed $22 million while Marquez was guaranteed $5. According to reports, Marquez was wanting a number as high as $10 million, however our source tells us that his number came down drastically when it looked as though Cotto was in the running. Furthermore, Pacquiao was reportedly guaranteed $26 million for his last outing against Bradley, which makes it understandable why he would demand more money to face an opponent he believes is a greater risk.
The question now is who will budge on their stance? Will Pacquiao take what he's currently being offered to face the more dangerous Marquez, or will he take a paycut and face the man he believes he easily beat in Bradley? Will he stick to his guns and possibly forego a December fight altogether, or will Arum sweeten the pot a little and convince him to finally make a decision? Time will tell, but the clock is ticking. Pacquiao is said to be coming to the United States this weekend, so we'll soon find out.