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Nov 25, 2014
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After thrashing a game Chris Algieri, and showing the world that he still has his celebrated firepower, Manny Pacquiao has reestablished himself as boxing's hottest commodity.

More importantly, the PacMan's dominating victory—alongside his post-fight comments—has fueled speculations as to who should be his next punching bag opponent. But we all know who Manny (and the rest of the world) wants:

 


Video via Foot Locker

A megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the most sensible of all, but we all know that it’s far more complicated to make than your ex’s Facebook status. A fifth bout with arch-rival Juan Manuel Marquez will provide our Pambansang Kamao the chance to redeem himself after that devastating KO. And what about the young lions who’d like to climb the top of the food chain by challenging the sport’s current alpha male?

It’s still early and nothing is concrete yet, but given Pacquiao’s stature as one of the sweet science’s most important figures and the fact that we could only expect a few more "prime" years from him, choosing "who's next" is arguably the most delicate decision the PacMan has ever had to make. He'd want someone with a "name" and a "following," and someone who could likewise bring in the bucks. We'd like a spectacle. No more six-knockdown-routs. No more tune-up fights masquaraded as an "intriguing match-up."

Simply put, Manny needs to fight the best out there. Now the question is: Will they fight him?

Here we list down Pacquiao’s potential opponents and grade the possibility of the fight coming into fruition! (Or in other words, here's Floyd and the-other-fighters-who-Manny-can-fght-if-ever-Floyd-declines-again!)


WHO WE ALL WANT: FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.

Image via Rumors and Rants

Allow us to reiterate our earlier point: Pacquiao vs. Mayweather IS THE ONLY FIGHT THAT REALLY MAKES SENSE. The two camps have danced around it for years, and for that they deserve to be vilified.

After his shutout rematch victory over Marcos Maidana last September, Money commented that he wanted to "make it happen" should Pacquiao get by Algieri. Let's just hope he remembers his own words after he's done booty-watching:

"If GOD made anything better than a woman, I don't want it"  #mrmylifeistheshit #tmt #tmg  www.themoneyteam.com

A video posted by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on


Bob Arum, during the post-fight presser for Pacquiao-Algieri, said that he's been in talks with CBS, the parent network of Showtime where Mayweather's under contract with. According to Arum, Showtime and HBO have also discussed the possibility of simultaneously airing the superfight, just like they did in 2002 when Showtime's Mike Tyson fought HBO's Lennox Lewis for the Heavyweight Championship of the world.

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If we're to believe Uncle Bob, arguably the most cunning spinmaster the sport has ever known, the only obstacle for the fight to happen is the fighters agreeing to it.

For the first time in years, Manny didn't play the "I leave it to the hands of my promoter" card and even dropped the pretense as he called out Mayweather to fight him next year.


Video via Tutti Tutti

Freddie Roach on the other hand still thinks Floyd is a p*ssy—which could be taken as a) Floyd will never step in the ring with Manny; b) Coach Freddie wants this fight as bad as we do, and he's determined to taunt Floyd until he says yes.

Our take: Don't lose sleep over it, fellow fight fans. Though many signs indicate that the fight will finally happen; they're also nothing but mere speculations. As much as we love to see it transpire, we'll only believe it when we see Manny and Floyd facing each other in the press conference announcing this sporting miracle.

Fight probability: 30 percent. It's all up to Floyd now, really.


THE HIGH-RISK, ALL-ACTION OPPONENT: DANNY GARCIA

Image via theboxingobserver.com

Danny Garcia rules the Junior Welterweight division, and is currently in possession of The Ring, WBA, and WBC championship belts. His victims include big-name fighters like Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, and Mexican great Erik Morales. The Puerto Rican-American is undefeated, with a 29-0 win-loss record, including 18 KOs.


Video via Brandon Weber

Garcia is itching to take the quick route to the top by beating either one of the sport’s top two stars. But it seems more likely that he'll get that opportunity against Pacquiao (that's if Floyd refuses to fight either of them).

Pacquiao-Garcia will likely take place in the 140-pound division with the champion's belts on the line. Getting their promoters won't also be a problem, as Oscar Dela Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, who handles Garcia, and Arum have recently put their differences aside.

If the Mayweather fight doesn’t happen, a bout with the young and hard-hitting Garcia is the next best option for Manny. He won't have to create the action as the young champion is known for being quite the banger. Punches will fly fast in this one, a possibility that every boxing aficionado craves for always.

Fight probability: 60 percent. The only hindrance we see here is, if the Floyd indeed doesn't happen, Arum might want Manny to face another Top Rank fighter. Why share if you can have all the profits, right?

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CHRIS ALGIERI 2.0: JESSIE VARGAS

Image via badlefthook.com

This is not to say that Manny will also easily pulverize Jessie Vargas. The kid is a better puncher than Algieri, something that could help his cause if ever he gets to fight Manny.

Astute boxing fans are already familiar with how Arum positions his fighters for their big pay day, aka a fight with Pacquiao. The final phase of the plan for WBA Light Welterweight champion Vargas took place last Sunday.


Video via ESNEWS

Vargas was among the undercard fighters for Pacquiao-Algieri, successfully defending his belt against Antonio DeMarco. He also got a wee bit of publicity before the fight, which tells us that he's also Arum’s next sacrificial lamb pet project. So don’t be surprised if the Top Rank head honcho suddenly starts throwing Vargas’ name around as the perfect next challenger for Manny. Be irate. Because reall now, we don’t deserve this one.

Fight probability: 80 percent. If Floyd says no, then get ready to know a whole lot more about Jessie Boy.


FLOYD MAYWEATHER 2.0: ADRIEN BRONER

Image via Canada.com

Adrien Broner fights eerily like Mayweather. He's also as cocky as Money. The former beltholder has long been considered as one of boxing "next great fighters." But a rugged Argentinian named Marcos Maidana shattered all that. 

Broner has somewhat bounced back from that lone loss, posting back-to-back wins against Carlos Molina and Emmanuel Taylor:


Video via Shosports

If Pac-Floyd doesn't happen, getting Broner to dance in the ring with Manny will be the closest thing we’ll get to seeing Mayweather's defensive skills go up against Pacquiao's thunderous offense.

And since their both musicians, maybe he and Pacman can do collab, too:


Video via SuperStarNewsTV

Fight Probability: 10 percent. This one's the least probable of all, but it's not too bad a matchup IMHO.


THE REVENGE FIGHT: JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ

Image via ESPN.com

The two have exchange a gazillion of punches, tasted each other's sweat, and took the best out of each other. So why can’t we can’t get enough of Pacquiao-Marquez? Maybe because there’s no other boxing rivalry today that can produce the fireworks they create every time they face each other in the ring.


Video via BorgesProduction

A possible fifth fight with Marquez will also put Pacquiao not only on a must-win situation, but in a must-knock-the-hell-out predicament in order for him to fully avenge his devastating sixth round KO loss during their last meeting. We don't want to put undue pressure on the Fighting Congressman's shoulders, but we reckon it'd be nice to see the desperate, I'm-gonna-take-you-out-no-matter-what Pacquiao one last time 

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GIF via The Guardian.com

Marquez had said before that he’s no longer interested in fighting the PacMan again. But everyone knows that money can always change a fighter's/workingman's opinion. 

Fight Probability50 percent. Roach and Pacquiao wants him again, and Marquez would likely land his biggest paycheck ever. 1 + 1 is still = 2, right?

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