By Andy Byles
Assuming Pacquiao gets by Shane Mosley, people are already wondering “Who is Manny Pacquiao going to fight next?” I’m going to attempt to answer that question…in my own special way.
Before I begin, let me say this…what boxing fans want and what promoters and boxers themselves want, are not always the same thing. For instance…most fans didn’t/don’t want to see Pacquiao and Mosley. But from a “money” standpoint, it was the biggest fight out there. And that is why it is happening. But either way, I’m not going to see any of this money, so I don’t really care what “they” think on the matter. I’m speaking up, not only for myself, but for other boxing enthusiasts who want to see a good fight.
Here is a list of possibilities for Manny and why they may or may not be a good choice.
Floyd Mayweather. This is a no-brainer. Everyone wants to see this fight. Fans and promoters. Not only would it be a historical money maker, it would be a great and entertaining fight…and it’s the best fight out there. Unfortunately, Floyd doesn’t seem willing. With all his legal problems and bobbing and weaving from the reporters’ questions on why he won’t fight, he just doesn’t have the time or desire.
Juan Manuel Marquez. This is an intriguing fight for Pacquiao fans. It is a chance for him to silent his critics over JMM. In their first two meetings, Pac-man escaped with a draw in 2004 and won a split decision in 2008. Fans argue that those fights could have gone either way and would like to see a third fight. I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind seeing it either. But does Marquez really deserve another shot? He says he wants one (it’s all about the money baby!). But his lack luster performance against Floyd Mayweather, may keep him from getting that chance. I will say this: He did look good in his last fight against Michael Katsidis. Marquez scored an impressive 9th round tko. If he keeps it up, he just may get his chance.
Erik Morales. For some reason there has been a lot of talk going around about another fight with these two. All I can say is…Why? Morales is currently gearing up to fight Marcos Maidana (good luck with that one Erik!) in what is sure to be a risky fight for the veteran of Mexico. Recently in an interview he said he was “poison” to Pacquiao. Really? I seem to remember two fights against Pacquiao, in 2006, where Morales ended up on his butt both times and getting knocked out…both times! Yes, Morales did beat Pacquiao in 2005 by decision, but Pacquiao has more than made up for that by following that fight with two dominating performances against Morales. I think most fight fans would have to laugh at the notion of a fourth fight…including myself. Morales obviously wants one last pay day before it’s over. FYI Erik, It IS over. I don’t see another fight with these two ever happening.
Timothy Bradley. A lot of people would like to see this one! Bradley is the undefeated, undisputed Jr. Welterweight champion of the world. He has an impressive record of 27-0-1 with 11 ko’s. He is coming off his early decision stoppage of former champ Devon Alexander. If anyone was able to actually stay awake till the end of that fight (and it ended early), then you saw Timothy unify the belts. On paper this fight with Pacquiao looks Golden. Bradley is young, fast, undefeated and hungry. But it is his lack of punching power that worries me. Pacquiao on the other hand is about the same size as Bradley, but he’s been making a habit recently of destroying bigger men with his power. All the while taking their best punches. Manny is faster, stronger and more experienced than Bradley. On top of that, he’s used to taking shots from bigger, stronger men. In the end, I can’t see Bradley lasting too long in the ring against Manny. The fight would probably be over before it really begins. And though it would be entertaining while it lasted, it just wouldn’t be worth the money to see it.
Amir Khan. This is easy. It’s not going to happen. Sorry. He and Pacquiao have the same trainer…Freddie Roach. On top of that, they have both said that they won’t fight each other. It is a shame though. It would probably be a good fight. But on the other hand, what would be a really interesting fight would be Khan and Mayweather. If Floyd won’t fight Manny, maybe he’ll take on Khan.
And last, but not least…..my choice…..though it’s not up to me…….
Andre Berto. Berto is the WBC welterweight champion of the world. He is 27-0 with 21 ko’s. He has completely mauled the competition lately and has showed a lot of power. At times in the past, though, Andre has looked unimpressive (Jan 09 decision over Luis Collazo for example). This on top of his lack of exposure and popularity has left a bad taste in the mouths of promoters. Berto would certainly be a good test for Manny, but the question is “how many tickets will this fight sell?” But since I don’t care about selling tickets., let this fight happen! I want to see a good fight and there isn’t anything else out there for Manny. If Mayweather continues to run and hide, than Berto should be next.
Note: I did not mention any fighters above the welter weight division (like Sergio Martinez), because it has been stated sever times that Pacquiao is not going to fight above 147 anymore. That is why he vacated the WBC Super Welterweight title that he won after being Margarito.
Of course anything can happen in the world of boxing. Nothing is for sure. If Pacquiao somehow loses to Mosley, than I’m sure his next fight will be a rematch. But then again, Ricky Hatton may go on a diet and Pretty Boy Floyd may grow a pair. Who knows.
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