Manny Pacquiao – After winning his 8th division title on November 13 against Antonio “Tijuana Tornado” Margarito, boxing aficionados are now busy analyzing Manny Pacquiao’s next fight and predictions about the coming super-fight are currently being made. While Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum hasn’t officially disclosed who Pacquiao’s next challenger would be, and since Floyd Mayweather Jr. wouldn’t be available to fight Pacquiao by May next year, several names have come up – including those of Sugar Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Andre Berto.
It’s no surprise why a lot of fighters are eagerly lining up for a chance to fight the Pound for Pound King Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao inside the ring. With a shot for worldwide recognition plus a handsome payday (no less than $5 million) to boot, who wouldn’t take his chance?
So, who will it really be? Who will be the most likely candidate to fight Pacman on the ring? Let’s take a closer look, and try to see if we can accurately guess the identity of Manny Pacquiao’s next challenger.
Pacman vs. Mosley
Compared to all the other names in the list, Mosley has the largest fan base so it would be a very wise business decision should Arum decide to give Mosley his nod. A former three-division champion and considered to be the boxing world’s top welterweight until Floyd Mayweather reclaimed the title, Mosley is the nearest to Mayweather in terms of talent and skills so a bout with Pacman would be interesting to watch.
However, as more knowledgeable boxing fans would agree, age is fast catching up with the once most dreaded fighter of the boxing world. Would he still be a threat to Pacquiao? Or would he suffer the same fate as Margarito and be beaten black and blue by the Pound for Pound King? Many predict that it will be the latter.
Pacman vs. Marquez
WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez is still a force to reckon with inside the ring, as his recent fight against Michael Katsidis showed. He also has great audience drawing power, being the face of Mexican boxing and all that. A third fight between these two boxers can easily draw in more than 40,000 live audience and a handsome 1 million pay-per-view buys. But will there be another rematch between the two?
If you ask Freddy Roach, he would say go for it just to “shut Marquez up”.
But as for Arum, the fight will only be possible if Marquez is willing to do it at a contract weight of 147. Besides, he had already said earlier that he “would not allow Golden Boy to control the promotion in any way” but would simply “offer to buy Marquez for a flat fee plus an upside of agreed-upon pay-per-view profits”. Now, this won’t be acceptable to Golden Boy’s Richard Schaefer and Oscar dela Hoya, who both want to prove the world how innovative their company has become.
So, unless cooler heads prevail on both sides, the world wouldn’t see a third Pacquiao-Marquez fight. But when it does happen, will Marquez stand a chance against a bigger, stronger, and more intelligent Pacquiao? Or is he just after another big payday before retiring?
While it is true that Marquez has been one of the fighters who had given Pacquiao the most trouble inside the ring (aside from Erik Morales who had beaten Pacquiao in their 2005 fight), he is admittedly way past his prime while Pacquiao is just reaching the peak of his career. Will this be another lopsided fight? Well, let’s wait and see.
Pacman vs. Berto
WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto may be a young, excellent fighter with solid power and probably the fastest hands Pacquiao has ever seen but unfortunately, he still hasn’t earned the right to warrant a fight with the Pacman. Besides, he has no commercial bankability to speak of and has not established a following in any region, not even on his own. With an insignificant fan base, what can he possibly bring to the table to make it worthwhile for the promoters to cast this fight?
So, there you have it – speculations on Manny Pacquiao’s next fight and predictions coming from all camps. Who will it really be? Have you made your own predictions yet? Well, we may need to wait for Arum’s decision to come out by mid-December to know who will face the Pacman on the ring by May next year. Until then, all we can do is speculate.