Manny Pacquiao woke up this morning knowing who he’ll next fight. The rest of the boxing world probably won’t know for a few more days.
Pacquiao is expected to fight April 12 at the MGM Grand Garden on HBO Pay Per View. On Saturday, his manager, Michael Koncz, met with Top Rank chairman Bob Arum in Los Angeles to determine the opponent.
“It’ll either be (Ruslan) Provodnikov or (Timothy) Bradley,” Arum said. “We’ll let Manny decide, we’ll get a deal made with whoever he chooses and hopefully make the announcement in a week.
“What I can definitely tell you is Manny is fighting on April 12, and he’s definitely fighting at the MGM.”
Pacquiao knows both fighters well. He lost a controversial split decision to Bradley in 2012, and Provodnikov has been a sparring partner for Pacquiao.
Arum wouldn’t say which fight made more sense.
“It’s up to Manny,” said Arum, who has had conversations with Bradley’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, and Provodnikov’s promoter, Artie Pelullo.
Arum and Koncz also have talked to Freddie Roach, who trains Pacquiao and Provodnikov. Should that fight materialize, look for Roach to work Pacquiao’s corner.
Interestingly, Juan Manuel Marquez’s name is absent from the Pacquiao conversation. Arum said Marquez is not interested in fighting Pacquiao a fifth time, after Marquez knocked him out in December 2012. A rematch with Bradley, who beat Marquez by split decision on Oct. 12 at the Thomas &Mack Center, is more desirable for Marquez.
“If Manny decides to fight Provodnikov, then we can try and make a Bradley-Marquez matchup,” Arum said. “But let’s see what happens with Manny first.”
■ HOF BALLOT — The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame’s second class is expected to be announced this month. President Rich Marotta said two additional categories — Pioneer Class and Adoptive Nevada Resident — will join the seven original categories.
Among those nominated in the Nevada Resident Boxer category are Sonny Liston, Roger Mayweather, Cornelius Boza-Edwards and Wayne McCullough. In the Non-resident Boxer category are George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Felix Trinidad, Marco Antonio Barrera, Riddick Bowe and Johnny Tapia.
The list of Adoptive Nevada residents includes Joe Louis, Earnie Shavers, Fernando Vargas, Leon Spinks, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Kevin Kelley. The Pioneer Class nominees include Jack Dempsey, Archie Moore, Jack Johnson and Tex Rickard.
The induction ceremonies for the Class of 2014 will be in August.
■ JUNIOR TOURNAMENT — Some of the nation’s best young amateurs will be at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno this week for the USA Boxing Junior and Youth Open.
Devin Haney, the defending 2013 Junior Olympic champion at 125 pounds, leads the Las Vegas contingent in the Junior Division (15- and 16-year-olds). Fabian Camarena also is competing at 125 pounds, and Wes Diana will fight in the 119-pound division. On the women’s side, Samantha Torres is entered at 125 pounds, and Yarisel Ramirez is competing at 114 pounds.
In the Youth Division (17- and 18-year-olds), Nysja Barrientes, the 2013 Junior Open champion, will compete in the 112-pound female class. In the male division, Cory Conner is competing in the 108-pound class, Dustin Somera will fight at 114 pounds, Eliseo Duran will fight in the 123-pound class, Andres Cortes of Henderson will fight at 132 pounds, Issac Lujan is entered at 141 pounds and Sharif Rahman will fight at 178 pounds.
Preliminary competition begins Tuesday, with the finals scheduled for Saturday.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter @stevecarprj.