Manny Pacquiao is at a crossroads in his career right now. He could have taken the loss to Juan Manuel Marquez as a blip on the radar and gotten back in the ring immediately to prove he still had it.
Instead, despite all the talk of Pacquiao in the media and speculation about another fight with Marquez, he really isn't doing anything.
Pacquiao is trying to find another opponent so he can get back in the ring, but he isn't in any hurry to do so.
According to a report from Kevin Iole and Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports, Pacquiao's camp is trying to work out a deal for a fifth fight against Marquez, likely during the fall and outside the United States for financial purposes:
Michael Koncz (Pacquiao's Chief Advisor) told Yahoo! Sports that the 39.6 percent tax rate Pacquiao would face if he were to fight again in the U.S. makes a fall bout in Las Vegas "a no go."
Promoter Bob Arum is hopeful of arranging a fifth match between Pacquiao and Marquez in the fall, potentially on Sept. 14.
Ignoring the financial ramifications of doing a fight outside the United States because that doesn't really apply to what we are saying, if that September date winds up holding true, that would give Pacquiao nine months in between fights.
Since turning pro in 1995, Pacquiao has never had a layoff of nine months in between fights. His longest was eight months in 2010, when he fought Joshua Clottey in March and Antonio Margarito in November.
Pacquiao has always fought twice a year every year since 1995. If his next fight isn't until September, which seems likely given the lack of movement in negotiations and to allow for proper training, he is all but guaranteed to fight just once in 2013.
And that's okay, because it's a sign of the times for Pacquiao. He has put his body through countless hours of punishment in the ring and training for 61 career fights he has endured throughout his career.
Even though Pacquiao is just 34 years old, he is an old 34. He has a lot of tread on his tires and can't get back into the swing of things as quickly as he once did, which could be a reason for his lackluster performances in recent fights.
Now, instead of feeling the need to rush back into the ring and prove something to the world and himself, Pacquiao is doing things on his own terms. He is going to do what is in his best interest when he is ready.
Pacquiao has earned that right after spending so many years building a brand that is as popular worldwide as any in sports. He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone, but he will get back on the horse when he is ready.