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Pacquiao faces Jessie Vargas, Mayweather battles Cotto, says Robert Garcia

Floyd Mayweather Jr Manny Pacquiao Miguel CottoBy Chris Williams: Right now there’s a lot of confusion going on about who Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will be facing next. While they’re both still technically in negotiations with each other, Pacquiao’s recent announcement of a January 31st deadline for Mayweather to agree to the contract may have ultimately been the final nail in the coffin of the negotiations, because it doesn’t appear there’s enough time before then to finish up the negotiations.

Trainer Robert Garcia sees little chance of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight taking place. Instead of this fight, he sees Pacquiao fighting fellow Top Rank stablemate Jessie Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs) next on May 30th, and Garcia likes this fight.

As for Mayweather, Garcia sees him facing Miguel Cotto next on May 2nd. HBO commentator Jim Lampley also recently said that Mayweather will be fighting Cotto next instead of Pacquiao.

“The only name available is Jessie Vargas. That’s who I think he’s [Pacquiao] going to fight, Jessie Vargas,” Garcia said to “It’s a good fight. Jessie Vargas has earned the fight. He’s a world champion. He had a good win over Antonio DeMarco, so why not? I think Mayweather winds up fighting Cotto, and I would like to see that fight too. Cotto gave him a very good fight the first time they fought, but I pick Mayweather. But Cotto has a good shot.”

There’s nothing wrong with Pacquiao fighting Vargas. It’s a predictable fight for the Filipino star because his promoter Bob Arum has made a habit of matching Pacquiao against his Top Rank stable fighters over and over again, and Vargas is a guy that Arum still hasn’t matched Pacquiao against.

What’s interesting is that Arum keeps mentioning Amir Khan as the leading plan-B option for Pacquiao to fight if the Mayweather fight doesn’t come off. Robert Garcia doesn’t see that fight happening due to Khan being guided by adviser Al Haymon.

While Haymon might not be able to block the fight, according to Arum, I can still see him using his powers of persuasion to steer Khan in another direction away from a Pacquiao fight. But I don’t think Arum is even serious about wanting to match Pacquiao against Khan.

I just see Arum as choosing to use Khan’s name as a way of getting Mayweather to sign for the fight with Pacquiao. When you’re negotiating with a fighter, it’s always helpful to give the perception that you’re guy has other options available to them. In this case, Arum keeps pulling Khan’s name out of his hat like a gun.

The thing is I don’t see Mayweather being bothered in the least with Arum mentioning Khan over and over again as Pacquiao’s backup plan, because I don’t see Mayweather falling for it. He’s got to know that there’s little chance that Arum would allow his money guy Pacquiao to fight a mover and defensive fighter like Khan, because the chances of Pacquiao getting beaten would be too high.

With each loss Pacquiao takes, you’ve got to imagine that his pay-per-view buys drop off significantly. Just look at the drop he’s had in PPV buys since his back to back losses to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012. If Arum were to put Pacquiao in with Khan, he could give Pacquiao another defeat and send his PPV numbers into the 200,000 range.

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