Manny Pacquiao will lace up the gloves on Nov. 13 -- it just won't be against the opponent the boxing and the pay-per-view communities had hoped for.
Promoter Bob Arum said Pacquiao will engage Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13 for the vacant super welterweight title on HBO Pay-Per-View, according to reports.
The fight likely will take place in Las Vegas if the controversial Margarito can get licensed in Sin City, or failing that approbration, Monterrey, Mexico, or the Middle East.
Whatever the location, the potential mega-fight between Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather will have to wait until 2011.
Arum said he believed the Margarito fight will be viewed as more attractive than a rematch against Miguel Cotto, whom Pacquiao KOd in the 12th round last November. That fight generated 1.25 million buys and $70 million in PPV revenue.
Margarito is perhaps best known for a hand-wrap controversy, when he was caught with a hardened substance in his knuckle pad prior to a Jan. 24, 2009, fight in California against Shane Mosley. Forced to retape, Margarito was knocked out in the ninth round. The following month he was suspended for a year by the California State Athletic Commission.
Since then, the former welterweight king pounded out a unanimous decision over Roberto Garcia on May 9.
Margarito applied for a license in Nevada earlier this month, but the Nevada Athletic Commission tabled the matter, sending him back to California. Paperwork evidently will be filed there Monday. If granted the license, the bout will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. If not, it will likely occur in Monterrey Mexico. However, backed by interest from the royal family of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dubai could also wind up hosting the bout, according to reports.
HBO officials declined to comment on the reports
However, in a recent interview HBO Sports senior vice president Mark Taffet, was optimistic the group would hold a pair of major PPV events late this year.
Perhaps Mayweather will headline a separate event.
A March 2010 matchup between Pacquiao/Mayweather dissolved after the duo could not come to agreement over pre-fight testing for steroids.
Both fighters fought in separate PPV bouts during the first half of 2010. Pacquiao drew more than 700,000 PPV buys for his March 13 fight against Joshua Clottey, while Mayweather garnered 1.4 million buys for his May 1 bout against an overmatched Mosley.