By James Slater – It was an incredibly exciting night for world boxing last night; with no less than at least four big fights taking place. We saw super-middleweights Carl Froch and Andre Ward come out on top over excellent opposition in excellent style – Froch shutting out Arthur Abraham and Ward also winning a wide decision over Sakio Bika. While in Las Vegas, superb fighters Juan Manuel Marquez and Andre Berto were in action.
Berto, the unbeaten WBC welterweight king and a possible star of the future, looked sensational in taking out the previously unstopped Freddy Hernandez inside a single round. The Mexican, beaten only once previously, was utterly destroyed by Berto, being stopped with barely two minutes gone.. Berto’s sizzling right hand may now take him to victory in some much bigger fights. A Berto-Manny Pacquiao showdown, anyone?
Well, the man who topped last night’s bill in Vegas, lightweight king Juan Manuel Marquez, will have something to say about that. Having got off the floor in the 3rd round from a Katsidis knockdown, “Dinamita” regained control over the gutsy Aussie, finally stopping him in the 9th-round, when referee Kenny Bayless waved the bout over at 2-mins and 14-seconds.
Yet another exciting, quality fight involving the ageless Mexican wonder, last night’s victory will, Marquez hopes, have paved the way for a third clash between he and Pac-Man.
“We know Pacquiao is avoiding us,” Marquez said post-fight. “A third fight’s what the public wants.”
But is it? Sure, the first two fights between the Mexican and the Filipino were sensational, but they took place at 126 and 130-pounds respectively. Pacquiao’s next fight is almost certain to take place at welterweight: can Marquez be persuaded to go up to 147? Pac-Man is not going to come down below that weight, that much looks certain. But can a third fight between the two be competitive up at 147? Will the paying public take a chance on shelling out for the pay-per-view in the hope that it will?
Maybe, for the first time, fans may scream for a Pacquiao-Berto showdown. For Pac-Man the fight would offer him the chance to win the WBC 147-pound crown, and for Berto the fight would offer him a shot at superstardom. And going by Berto’s quick and impressive win last night, you’d have to give the 27-year-old a real chance of upsetting Pacquiao. Certainly, the Haitian-born warrior would not be weight weakened and drained in the fight.
As he’s the best as well as being the number-one attraction in the entire sport, Pac-Man will call the shots and decides who he faces next year, in the early summer most likely. If Floyd Mayweather is unavailable, it will probably be Marquez III or a bout against the unbeaten Berto. Both fights are attractive, but which one will Pac-Man go for?