Jones has several factors on his side in the Pacquiao sweepstakes. First, he is with Top Rank, though co-promoted by J. Russell Peltz but Arum holds the cards in that negotiation. Also, Jones is not a finished product, so it is hard to imagine Pacquiao in any danger of losing to Jones. Most importantly, Jones has no big payday fights on the horizon, so any deal made would surely benefit the Pacquiao side.
It’s also very possible that Jones is nothing more than Arum’s “ace-in-the-hole” in negotiations with other promoters. If no promoter will bow to Arum’s demands, Jones is a suitable plan B and the other promoters know it.
It’s hard to look past November and state with a high level of confidence what the Pacquiao sweepstakes short list will look like but we know the names being bandied about now. In addition to Jones, Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander and Andre Berto have all been talked about.
Berto and Alexander certainly have the advantage of looking sufficiently poor in recent outings to fit into Team Pacquiao’s risk/reward criteria. Plus, neither man is any position to land a seven-figure payday except by the grace of Bob Arum and Team Pacquiao- so again, Top Rank holds all the cards in that negotiation. While Bradley is the best fighter in the bunch, there are major hurdles to this fight actually coming to fruition. The most obvious being the unlikely chance of Shaw and Bradley accepting the terms Top Rank will demand. And does Team Pacquiao really want to risk the likelihood of head clashes and cuts against Bradley?
To make the story more interesting, Satterfield has written about the criticism of Pacquiao not fighting young, slick African-American fighters, mainly from Bernard Hopkins. Arum has told Satterfield that he has heard the criticism, "Like I said, there’s no argument there that he has not fought a top African-American fighter. But the notion that he would not fight an African-American fighter is ridiculous.” That was before Pacquiao signed to fight Shane Mosley; however, few at that point believed Mosley was a top fighter.
Of course, the best part of the “Pacquiao doesn’t fight African-Americans” debate was HBO’s Harold Lederman decrying the fact Pacquiao has avoided all of the great Jewish fighters as well.
Barring any “Come to Jesus” moment between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather and that fight being made, don’t be surprised if the name Mike Jones begins taking center stage as the next winner of the Pacquiao sweepstakes. Given the criteria Team Pacquiao has set in recent fights, Jones seems to fit the bill.