Five names for Manny Pacquiao's next bout
ABS-CBN Sports on May 11, 2015 10:38 AM
Photo credit: AP Images
After Floyd Mayweather Jr. publicly rescinded his offer of a rematch to Manny Pacquiao, the options for the Filipino boxing hero became very limited.
Not helping is the fact that he just underwent a successful shoulder surgery which will have him sidelined for at least nine months - based on reports.
With Pacquiao not wanting to go out on a losing note, it is expected for him to take centerstage in the ring once again for a farewell bout or two. But with the Mayweather rematch far from happening, the question is, who's left for Pacquiao?
Here some intriguing names for Pacquiao's next bout.
Jessie Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs)
Assuming Vargas goes through Timothy Bradley in their upcoming match in June 27, Vargas puts himself in good position for the biggest payday in his career in a match against Pacquiao.
Vargas, formerly promoted by Mayweather, jumped to Top Rank in the latter part of his career but he's yet to make a splash in the boxing scene despite big wins over Antonio deMarco and Khalib Allkhverdiev. He'll have that one shot at fame assuming he derails Bradley and takes a shot at Pacquiao
Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs)
Another interesting option for Top Rank is for them to let Terence Crawford loose and allow him to face Pacquiao.
The switch hitter out of Nebraska remains undefeated in his career and is coming off big wins against the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ray Beltran and Thomas Dulorme.
Looking at his exciting style, power and his overall ring generalship, Crawford could be the next big cash cow of Bob Arum and the promotion, and this puts them into an interesting win-win situation assuming they make the Crawford - Pacquiao bout happen.
A win for Crawford would mean that Top Rank has another superstar they can build around, post-Pacquiao, and a win for Manny would mean that they're major star still has a lot left in the gas tank, especially against a formidable opponent like Crawford.
Lucas Matthysse (37-3, 34 KOs, 1 NC)
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions once referred to Matthysse as the next Manny Pacquiao, after dismantling former world champion Lamont Peterson with relative ease two years ago.
The hype train may have been derailed a little bit after that exciting unanimous decision loss to Danny Garcia (where he reportedly suffered an eye injury midway through the fight), but after three impressive performances, Matthysse is back on track.
“La Máquina” stopped John Molina Jr in what could be the fight of the year for 2014, stopped Roberto Ortiz, before barely edging out Ruslan Provodnikov via majority decision last April.
With Matthysse's power and exciting ways, a match with Pacquiao would definitely be a crowd pleaser.
Amir Khan (30-3, 19 KOs)
If Khan misses out on the Mayweather sweepstakes, then we all know that he's gonna go after Manny.
Assuming Khan pulls through in his upcoming bout against Chris Algieri, then that puts him as one of the favorites to take on Mayweather next. The problem is, Mayweather wants to fight in September but Khan a devoted Muslim, will have problems with the date due to how his preparation may be affected by the Ramadan.
If he fails to get Mayweather, the British slugger is expected to go all out on trying to secure another big pay day with Pacquiao, and that may not be too bad for both fighters.
Khan and Pacquiao have sparred in the past, as Khan have trained under legendary coach Freddie Roach. Khan is also an entertaining talker, adding further interests in this match.
Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KOs)
Pacquiao's legacy won't entirely be shaped with his loss to Mayweather. It was built on the foundation of four exciting contests with Juan Manuel Marquez, a bitter foe that has proved to be his anti-thesis in his heyday.
Despite only winning one of the four bouts, Marquez owns the trump card over Pacquiao after knocking out the Filipino boxing hero in the sixth round of their fourth bout, back in 2012.
Marquez had publicly stated that he won't fight Pacquiao again, but as we've seen in the Mayweather - Pacquiao contest, everything can be sorted out when tons of money are at stake.
This could also serve as the fitting retirement match for both fighters as they have both been key to elevating the sport of boxing in this era. Without Marquez, Pacquiao's career wouldn't have been that interesting. Without Pacquiao, Marquez would have slowly faded into obscurity. Perfect match. Perfect send-off.
Regardless of who wins, the post match drama would be on an all-time high, with two great warriors in the ring together, calling it a career in a moment that could be for the books. - CJ