Pacquiao Set To Make Decision On Next Opponent

manny pacquiao18.11.07 – By Matthew Hurley: According to the Manila Bulletin Manny Pacquiao may be leaning toward World Boxing Council lightweight champion David Diaz as his next opponent. Pacquiao is scheduled to get back in the ring on March 15th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao watched with interest the Joan Guzman – Humberto Soto fight for the World Boxing Organization super featherweight title this past Saturday. The winner would become another player in the Pacquiao sweepstakes, which already included Diaz and former foe Juan Manuel Marquez. Guzman won a clear-cut unanimous decision over Soto, utilizing his superior speed and boxing skills. He then called out Pacquiao.

The Filipino superstar and his promoter Bob Arum initially set their sights on Diaz after the Chicago based fighter narrowly escaped with a decision victory over Mexican icon Erik Morales in August. That fight, one of the better matches of the year, again revealed that Diaz is not only a fun fighter to watch but that his pressure style and limited defensive capabilities leave him open to counter punches. Morales dropped him with a wicked right hand counter punch off the ropes in the first round. It’s that very willingness to take punches in order to land his own that has Arum salivating.

On paper Diaz would seem to be the easiest of the three targets for Pacquiao to take on, but Manny has never fought at 135 pounds. He began his career as a flyweight, 112 pounds, and like every fighter who rises up in weight in search of multiple championship belts there is the danger of jumping up one weight class too many. Even murderous punchers like Thomas Hearns and Alexis Arguello found that their vaunted power didn’t have quite the same effect when the men they were hitting became bigger and stronger. The same will eventually hold true for Pacquiao as well.

Guzman and Marquez represent different problems for Pacquiao. Both are good boxers who can give the “Pac Man” problems and Marquez has already proven that his skills keep him on an even playing field with Manny. The two fought to a spirited draw in 2004. A rematch between the two super featherweights is also the fight that boxing fans have been clamoring for.

Pacquiao will be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with Arum and his future opponent should be selected and announced by next week.

Article posted on 19.11.2007

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