Op-Ed: Who Should Filipino Boxer Manny Pacquiao Fight Next?

Posted Mar 20, 2010 by Leo Reyes
The highly acclaimed Pacquiao-Mayweather bout may not happen within the year as an automatic rematch provision has reportedly been inserted in the fight contract between Mosley and Mayweather, leaving Pacquiao with a slim chance of fighting anyone of them
The most talked about boxing match since Manny Pacquiao defeated Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico last year is undoubtedly the failed Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight which was originally set for March 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The highly acclaimed match did not happen due to a blood testing controversy in which Mayweather accused the Filipino boxer of taking performance enhancing drugs during his previous fights.
The prospect for an immediate match between Pacquiao and Mayweather at this time and even after the Mosley-Mayweather fight set for May 1, is quite remote due mainly to contract limitations.
Boxing fans are prepared to settle for a Pacquiao-Mosley fight later in the year should Mosley defeats Mayweather on May 1. However it was reported that an automatic rematch provision was inserted in the contract which could scuttle the prospect for a Pacquiao-Mosley encounter. Boxing fans have resigned to the prospect of a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight after several failed attempts to resolve the drug testing protocol issues by the fight promoters.
This situation leaves Pacquiao with at least three possible options if the Filipino boxer prevails over the call of his mother to quit boxing for good.
Pacquiao vs. Edwin Valero
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer and Coach, prefers Valero for Pacquiao's next match. He said Valero remains undefeated in his 27 fights. The boxer from Nicaragua is a known knock out artist and has knocked out all of his 27 opponents. His first 18 fights ended in a first round knock out.
“I’ve been watching him a little bit. I know he’s a big puncher. He’s a southpaw and does pose some difficulties. He’s better than just a guy who could punch but I think that’s the best marketable fight out there for us,” Roach said
Valero is licensed to fight in Texas where the Dallas Cowboys Stadium is located and where Team Pacquiao wants the fight to happen.
Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito
Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum says otherwise. He wants Pacquiao to face Antonio Margarito because Valero is not popular in the United States. And if the fight is to be held at the Cowboys Stadium he may have a hard time filling the huge venue in Arlington.
“That (Valero’s status) can change, and that’s my job as Valero’s promoter, to change that, but I don’t think I can accomplish that job that quickly. We’re all on the same team but I’m not a miracle worker. We need someone the country is familiar with and Margarito (also under Top Rank) is someone they are certainly familiar with,” said Arum.
Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez
Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Marquez twice, one in May 2004 and the other in November 2007. In their first encounter, Marquez suffered a series of knockdowns in the first round of their fight but managed to recover in the later rounds to score a draw.
In their second bout, Pacquiao defeated Marquez via a split decision. Marquez suffered a knockdown in the third round which proved to be the difference in the decision as the remaining rounds were almost even.
A Pacquiao-Marquez third encounter could be another crowd drawer as some boxing fans see an unfinished business between the two popular boxers.
The Filipino boxing superstar is fresh from his 12-round unaninimous decision victory over Joshua Clottey of Ghana held las March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arling ton Texas.
Pacquiao returning to Manila Monday from Los Angeles to prepare for his next bout in the political ring as he embarks on a rigorous campaign to seek votes from his constituents in his bid to win a congressional seat in the May national elections.
Who do you think should Pacquiao fights next?