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Who could be next for Manny Pacquiao?

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Caption goes here in a minutes (Getty Images)

Manny Pacquiao won a 12-round decision over Brandon Rios and will fight again in April. (Getty Images)

With promoter Bob Arum announcing that Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring in April, let’s look at some of the potential opponents.

Floyd Mayweather – Even if the issues of network, financial split and drug testing could be worked out — and hitting the lottery three straight days is more likely than that — Mayweather and Pacquiao would still find reasons not to fight. These two are just destined to dance around each other. Moreover, making Mayweather-Pacquiao now — as I’ve noted on Twitter — would irritate as many fans as it pleased. It still would do big business, but it would be a fraction of the ridiculous numbers it would have done in 2010, when Mayweather and Pacquiao were at the top of the sport. Not that it matters. After a month or so of public sabre rattling, both sides will do what they always do. Move on. Probability of it happening: Very low. 

Juan Manuel Marquez — If a Mayweather bout doesn’t happen, this is the fight Pacquiao’s team wants. Freddie Roach has noted on numerous occasions that before he was stopped, Pacquiao was boxing beautifully and likely would have stopped a battered Marquez in the later rounds. The future of this fight depends on Marquez, who at 40 and coming off a loss to Tim Bradley, may not be interested. But for those claiming Pacquiao-Marquez fatigue, remember this: Every round of their first four fights was entertaining, and a fifth installment — perhaps in Mexico – would virtually guarantee more than one million pay-per-view buys. Probability of it happening: High. 

Tim Bradley — Despite losing a controversial decision to Bradley last year, Pacquiao has little interest in a rematch. Perhaps it’s because most observers thought Pacquiao won a lopsided decision; perhaps it’s because the first fight was far from a financial success. Bradley has had a strong year, beating Ruslan Provodnikov in an entertaining slugfest and outpointing Marquez to bolster his résumé. And his willingness to trade haymakers with Provodnikov could make Bradley even more appealing. Still, it’s likely one or two opponents will have to fall out before Bradley gets a shot. Probability of it happening: Somewhat High. 

Ruslan Provodnikov — After two fights this year, Provodnikov has established himself as a must-see attraction. Unheralded before his matchup with Bradley, Provodnikov rebounded from a close loss in that bout to pound Mike Alvarado and win a piece of the 140-pound title. An old-school slugger, Provodnikov has the ability to wear down any opponent who stands in front of him. Still, that Provodnikov is a stablemate of Pacquiao’s –  both men are trained by Freddie Roach — could prove an obstacle to any deal. And HBO may want to build Provodnikov up even further in fights with Rios, Bradley or Marquez, whom Provodnikov has campaigned for a fight against on Twitter. Probability of it happening: Medium.

Miguel Cotto — In 2009, in one of his finest performances, Pacquiao stopped Cotto in 12 rounds. Since then Cotto has moved up to junior middleweight and established himself as one of the best in the division. A rematch is certainly possible, but Cotto has shown little interest in dropping below 154 anymore and Pacquiao prefers to fight at 147. In addition, Cotto is now trained by Roach, who has publicly stated that it is unlikely the two will fight again. Probability of it happening: Low. 

Sergio Martinez – OK, so it’s not likely. But say Miguel Cotto elects to face Saul Alvarez next. And say Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. loses his rematch with Bryan Vera. And say Martinez, who at 38 is a big-purse hunter, was willing to drop to 155 pounds. Could a chance to win a middleweight title appeal to Pacquiao? Probably not. Then again, we never thought Pacquiao would get in the ring with Oscar De La Hoya, either. Probability of it happening: Very Low.                         — CHRIS MANNIX

  • Published On Nov 25, 2013
  • 7 comments
    PacKoMayMouth
    PacKoMayMouth

    Pacquiao to floyd joy-LET'S GET IT ON!. floyd's response to Pacquiao-(Trembling silence to the bone).

    floyd joy is thinking for more alibis and excuses fool his gullible fans. Then he will just turn his back again & again101x from Pacquiao and strut his way quacking victory.

    Message to all boxing fans: Let's open our eyes to the truth that floyd joy is a DUCK.

    To all floy joy's fans: Truth may hurt..but, it's truth still

    reggy
    reggy

    MAYWEATHER VS PACQUIAO IS THE BEST, IT'S NOT FOR MONEY, IT'S FOR BOXING SPORT...

    reggy
    reggy

    Mayweather vs Pacquiao is the  best choice for 2014...

    TonyDee
    TonyDee

    If the author never thought that Pacquiao would ever get in the ring with Dela Hoya,  what makes him think "Mayweather and Pacquiao would still find reasons not to fight". If you followed this matchup, it was only the initial announcement of their fight 3-4 years ago that Pacquiao played Mayweather's game of making up excuses after Mayweather backed out of the agreed fight due to drug issues with Pacquiao. Pac countered with his fear of needles, and the rest is history, Mayweather just won't get back to the talks, and still coming up with more reasons like the purse, etc. Since then Pacquiao dropped his needle thing and urged Floyd to come back to the table. Mayweather never obliged. Pacquiao currently agreed to Mayweather's terms but still Floyd keeps mum. I'm sure Mayweather will agree only to have a preposterous demand that not even Klitzko will fight him. 

    life_is_a_sport
    life_is_a_sport

    I'm done with Pacquaio-Marquez and paid for the third fight, but not the fourth one. And I won't pay for a fifth one. They've had great fights and they're made for each other but I want to see new matchups. 

    I think Pacquiao/Martinez at a catchweight would be an interesting fight.

    PacKoMayMouth
    PacKoMayMouth

    @life_is_a_sport That's absolutely a brawl in the making. But be noted that Pacquiao said it already that he will never go beyond 147 lbs.


    I've been so amused with the reactions of floyd joy's fans when Martinez called their idol.  "Sergio is too big for floyd joy" LOL!