Who is next for Manny Pacquiao? Mayweather perhaps?

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Manny Pacquiao got an impressive win over Brandon Rios on Saturday, but is he back? Even more important, where does he go from here? Some people believe he has fully returned to his old self. Hall of Famer “Iron” Mike Tyson tweeted, “Last nights @MannyPacquiao fight was one of the most sensational performances in the history of boxing.” However, others saw it differently and claim Pacquiao may have looked much improved compared to his latest showing but still is far from the fighter he once was.

Whether he is back to his former self or not is up for debate but where does Manny go from here? As expected, Pacquiao will have a few choices which will include familiar faces as well as a main protagonist that has eluded him over the past few years. Of course I am talking about Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr.

Juan Manuel Marquez:
After Pacquiao suffered the most humiliating loss of his career, (Marquez knocked him out cold) it only makes sense for these two to step back into the ring for a fifth time. I, however, doubt this will happen. Marquez was kind of obsessed over beating Pacquiao and now doesn’t want to risk losing to him again. He has said he wants to end it going out on top. Marquez is going to try to protect his legacy from here on out. Which means not taking another fight with Manny Pacquiao. Both guys are hall of fame fighters but before getting knocked out Manny was really piling on the damage and even had Marquez’s trainer, Nacho Berinstein, really worried bout Marquez’s health. There is no doubt Pacquiao wants the fight but I wouldn’t hold my breath on it.

Timothy Bradley:
Most, if not all of boxing media believes that Bradley lost to Pacquiao but that wasn’t how the judges saw it. Even Bradley himself was surprised when the judges awarded him the fight. Since then Bradley squeezed out a win over Pacquiao’s sparring partner, Ruslan Provodnikov and worked over Pacquiao’s main nemesis Juan Manual Marquez. A lot of Manny’s fans would love to see him avenge his loss to Bradley but the only problem there is that there isn’t very much money in it. Despite being a superb boxer, Bradley doesn’t have much of a fan base, so for Manny it may be too big of a risk for a small reward.

Miguel Cotto:
Rumor has it that Bob Arum is attempting to negotiate a deal for Cotto to have a rematch with Pacquiao. This is a rebuttal to a $10 million dollar deal offered by Golden Boy promotions for Cotto to take on their new poster boy, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. However, with Cotto now training under Roach and not willing to come down from 154lbs, I doubt this fight will come to fruition but we all know money talks.

Floyd Mayweather Jr:
I know, I know, we have been down this road a thousand time and all the debates never materializes into anything. Both guys have ducked one another for forever, so why would it change now? Well for a few reasons. One: both guys are running out of opponents. Pacquiao has fought every decent fighter in his fight class under Top Rank’s label. While Floyd just took out the only interesting option for him, Canelo, aside from Pacquiao. When Floyd dominants people it can get boring at times but when Pacquiao dominants he has that always entertaining style. Two: fans are smarter now and most realize Manny maybe the only one who can beat Mayweather. A Fight with Amir Khan or Devon Alexander won’t sell well and Mayweather knows this. Three: Mayweather and Pacquiao are both inching closer and closer to the end of their careers which will tie into my last point- money. If you think Canelo and Mayweather was a big fight and pay day, then Pacquiao will at least double that and with both guys coming up on the end of their respected careers they are in need of a retirement fund. These guys have to fight or there will always be a cloud of doubt hovering above their heads for the rest of their lives.

No one really knows who will face who until it’s officially announced. Until then all we can do is speculate. With that being said, I see Pacquiao trying to avenge his loss to Bradley and then trying hard to make a fight with Mayweather. If Floyd is willing to negotiate immediately however expect that fight to come first. Thanks for reading and being a fan of the sweet science.

Lucas Biggers

Lucas Biggers

Lucas Biggers- I am a fan turned writer, turned Founder of Heavy Bag Boxing. My hope is to see a new golden era of boxing come about for my sons to enjoy.