What Is Next for Manny Pacquiao?

25.01.06 - By Dino Alvarado: On January 21st, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao (40-3-2, 31 KO's) scored a dominating victory over Erik "El Terible" Morales (48-3, 34 KO's), possibly forcing an end to the career of one of the all-time greats. Despite the impressive 10th round stoppage, the question always immediately switches to what the next move will be for the winner.. Pacquiao can choose to go in many different directions, but if you ask me, his next bout should be yet another rematch against an old foe; it just depends who that exactly is.

He is recognized as the best featherweight in the world, yet he's only making $31,250 for his battle against Chris John in Indonesia a couple of months from now. Yes, I'm talking about Juan Manuel Marquez, who deserves a rematch after fighting to a draw against Pacquiao a couple of years ago (and this is despite being knocked down three times in the 1st round). It would earn Pacman a lot of respect from true boxing followers who understand what a tough match-up Marquez is for him.

Juan is a natural counter-puncher, and that's why he overwhelmed Manny during their first meeting. Why is this fight unlikely to happen? Not only would it be pretty risky, but there wouldn't be much money in it either because, unfortunately, Marquez remains unknown to the average boxing fan.

Manny's other choice would be, of course, to run after the money and pursue a rematch against Marco Antonio Barrera. I understand he (Barrera) is the Ring Magazine champion at 130 pounds, and there were many distractions surrounding him during his first bout with Pacquiao. However, with that said, his previous fight against Pacquiao was embarrassingly one-sided. If he was given a round during the bout (aside from the first, when the ref inexplicably ruled a knockdown against Manny when it obviously wasn't so), it was purely because you felt bad for him.

So it comes down to this for Manny Pacquiao; does he want money or history? It'll take versatility and good planning to beat Marquez, so such a win would certainly help his legacy. On the other side, Barrera's a big name, and a big win over a big name equals big money. Ultimately, this is not my decision, but it would seem to make financial and logical sense for Pacman to make cash beating someone he knows he can handle in Barrera. Whatever Manny decides to do, let's hope it's a good choice for himself and boxing fans alike.

Article posted on 25.01.2006

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