Manny Pacquiao is going to fight again, but he should be mindful of when—and where—that next fight occurs.
While the boxing world patiently waits for a fifth bout in Pac-Man's epic rivalry with Juan Manuel Marquez, who dropped Pacquiao with a thunderous overhand right in the sixth round of their bout last month in Las Vegas, The Manila Bulletin (via Yahoo! Sports in the Philippines) reports that the two may co-headline a card before that happens:
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum told the Bulletin on Wednesday that Pacquiao has already indicated his desire to return to the ring in April following the sixth-round knockout to Marquez last year in Las Vegas.
"While I was on vacation (in Cape Town, South Africa), (Pacquiao adviser) Michael (Koncz) reached out to (Top Rank matchmaker) Bruce Trampler, saying they want to fight in April," said Arum from his Las Vegas residence.
Per its rules, the Nevada Boxing Commission suspended Pacquiao for 120 days following his knockout loss to Dinamita, meaning that the earliest he could return to action in Sin City would be the third week in April.
The report continues:
Arum said Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions is due to meet with Marquez about the possibility of him and Pacquiao appearing in a double-header against separate foes.
Arum said the proposed double main event should serve as a teaser to a planned slambang September showdown between Pacquiao and Marquez, saying it will be held during the height of the celebration of Mexican Independence.
"This is a more important celebration among Mexicans compared to the Cinco de Mayo (festivities)," said the 81-year-old Arum.
There's no doubt that having the two rivals co-headline a card against different opponents would be intriguing to watch, creating even more buzz ahead of a bout that has seemingly become as eagerly anticipated as the Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight that never took place.
But there's plenty of risk for Pac-Man under such an arrangement.
What happens if Dinamita dominates his bout while Pacquiao looks less than impressive in his? Or worse, what if Pac-Man gets dropped by a lesser foe?
While a loss or less-than-definitive victory in what amounts to a tune-up fight would be problematic wherever it took place, the fact that it's on the same card as Marquez could prove to be disastrous for the fifth chapter of their epic rivalry.
Fairly or unfairly, every move he makes—from the selection of his opponent to the results inside the ring—will be compared to those made by Dinamita.
With both fighters on the same card, those comparisons will come fast and furious—and without the benefit of hindsight.
Pacquiao would be wise to keep his distance from Marquez until he's sure that he's up to the challenge of facing him one-on-one again.
The risks involved with fighting on the same card as Juan Manuel Marquez simply outweigh the positives that Pac-Man and his promoters hope to gain by staging such an event.