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Roach says Arum gave him four names for Pacquiao’s next fight: Cotto, Bradley, Marquez and Peterson

Juan Manuel Marquez lamont peterson Manny Pacquiao Timothy BradleyBy Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach is reportedly saying that promoter Bob Arum has given him four names – Timothy Bradley, Miguel Cotto, Lamont Peterson and Juan Manuel Marquez – as the fighters that are in the running to be selected from for Pacquiao’s next fight in early 2012. Of the four, two of them – Cotto and Bradley – are from Arum’s Top Rank stable.

Although Roach isn’t saying, Marquez and Peterson would appear to be trailing the pack in the chances of getting selected. Peterson doesn’t fight for Top Rank and isn’t a big attraction as of yet, and Marquez arguably beat Pacquiao in their last fight in November. Besides that, Marquez also doesn’t fight for Top Rank, and he’s already ruled out fighting Pacquiao again in Las Vegas, Nevada after failing to get a win in the three previous fights with the Filipino star in that city.

Any one of those factors would be enough for him to be dismissed as a potential candidate for Pacquiao, but Marquez also wants a bump up in pay from the $5 million he got last time he fought Pacquiao. That would appear to be the final straw that will get him ignored and passed over for the fight. So, what we’re really looking at is Pacquiao against of two Top Rank lions – Cotto and Bradley. And even that isn’t a tough choice because Bradley doesn’t have a huge following like Cotto, so he’s probably not going to get the fight next.

Arum is trying to make Bradley a bigger name by matching him up on Pacquiao’s cards. He matched him soft in Bradley’s first fight with Top Rank by putting him in with 40-year-old Joel Casamayor and Bradley responded by winning but not impressing. He didn’t shake up the boxing world with that performance and create a demand to see him as the guy that gets put in with Pacquiao. Arum is obviously going to have to keep matching him soft to make Bradley look good because right now he would be an awful choice, even though he’s one of Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters.

Cotto will get the fight now doubt. Arum wants to keep him with Top Rank and his contract is reportedly up now. Obviously making Cotto happy is important, so one way to do that is to put him in with Pacquiao, Arum’s No.1 cash cow to put a smile on Cotto’s face. Will it be a good fight for boxing fans? I don’t know. That depends on how good the memory is for fans. If they remember Pacquiao’s one-sided slaughter of Cotto from two years ago, they won’t be happy that Arum is putting this in house fight together. Fans will see it another mismatch and safe fight for the Filipino star, who was recently exposed as being a limited fighter by Marquez.

But if fans don’t have a clue about Pacquiao ever having fought Cotto before, they’ll be happy about this fight. But if you remember how awful the first fight was after Cotto started running for his life after the 4th, you might not one to pay a dime to see it. Personally, I see it as a free fight and not pay per view worthy because of how terrible Cotto looked last time.

Had Cotto fought someone with a pulse since then to redeem himself, I would think differently. But Arum has matched Cotto soft since the Pacquiao loss, putting him in with his fighter Yuri Foreman, who couldn’t punch; 38-year-old Ricardo Mayorga, and another Top Rank stable fighter Antonio Margarito, who was coming into the fight following three eye surgeries to repair a problem with Margarito’s right eye from his beating at the hands of Pacquiao last year.

I think Cotto vs. Pacquiao II should be on regular HBO or SHOWTME or maybe better yet on ESPN2. I don’t even think that fight is worth $4.99 because Cotto looked like a scared lamb last time they fought. His face was swollen and he was just running like mad. Who wants to see that fight again? I don’t see it a good product for fans. Of course, it’s a better product than the mismatch Arum set up with Pacquiao and 40-year-old over the hill Shane Mosley earlier this year, but that’s not saying much. That fight was a circus show and people should have known better than to have bought that mismatch.

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