Manny Pacquiao pondering next foe

Updated: December 21, 2010, 8:20 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Manny Pacquiao is mulling over options for his next fight, with three names still in the running for the lucrative shot at boxing's biggest box office attraction.

Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, told The Associated Press on Friday that no decision has been made on the opponent. Former welterweight champion Shane Mosley, welterweight champ Andre Berto and lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez are the options and all have made financial proposals for the fight.

The bout will be May 7, a date Top Rank promoter Bob Arum confirmed to ESPN.com earlier this week.

"The situation is now that the date has been confirmed, it's May 7, more likely than not, the venue would be Las Vegas," Koncz said. "But with regards to the actual opponent, all three of the guys named before are still live opponents."

Arum was in the Philippines to celebrate Pacquiao's 32nd birthday on Friday, and was expected to present him with the options at that time. There were reports that Pacquiao might announce his opponent, but Koncz said that was untrue.

"It's the holiday season, Manny's birthday, Bob's here. We had discussions about the fight but nothing was finalized," Koncz said. "No rush."

Arum has said that Marquez and welterweight titlist Andre Berto are also on the short list and he has gotten term sheets from both.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com's Dan Rafael earlier this week that has been pushing for Marquez. Golden Boy is already holding May 7 for a fight card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, a likely location of Pacquiao's next fight. But Schaefer said he has no interest in going to battle with Arum over the date.

"We are holding May 7 at the MGM but, of course, if Pacquiao is going to fight, I would step aside and give the date to Pacquiao and switch to April 16 [the original Pacquiao date] for what we were planning on doing," Schaefer said. "I really think if Pacquiao is going to fight May 7, on Cinco de Mayo weekend, you have to do Marquez on the Mexican holiday. Do you know how big that would be? It's a big fight no matter when it would be, but it would be even bigger on the Mexican holiday in Las Vegas."

Mosley -- who is 0-1-1 in a pair of poor performances against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Sergio Mora in his last two fights -- has emerged as the favorite. Mosley is in the midst of a nasty breakup with Golden Boy, leaving the company to negotiate the Pacquiao fight on his own with Top Rank's Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter.

Whoever the opponent, Pacquiao will almost certainly ensure they make a fortune.

The Filipino Congressman defeated Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito before huge crowds at Cowboys Stadium this year, generating massive pay-per-view numbers both times. The performances were enough for Pacquiao to finish third in voting for 2010 AP Male Athlete of the Year behind New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.

Those results, unlike his next opponent, were announced Friday.

"Nothing's finalized. Bob will go back and talk to the opponents' camps and then he'll get back to Manny and then, you know, we're in negotiations. I don't want to give any indication of who's ahead of who," Koncz said. "It's not the way to negotiate, in the media.

"There's no deadline per se, but who knows when?" Koncz said. "Maybe next week. Who knows?"

Information from ESPN.com's Dan Rafael and The Associated Press is included in this report.

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