Manny Pacquiao: Previewing Pac-Man's Options for Next Fight

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Manny Pacquiao: Previewing Pac-Man's Options for Next Fight
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

If I were in Manny Pacquiao's shoes, not only would my feet be cramped, but I would also be done with the sport of boxing. Realistically, though, that's not going to happen.

The best—at least in many people's eyes—pound-for-pound boxer just dominated the undefeated Timothy Bradley inside the ring, but it was all for naught. 

116 of 119 experts thought Pacquiao had won the fight, but only one of the three actual judges agreed. Thus, Desert Storm became the new WBO welterweight champion.

Who's next for Pacquiao?

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Again, if I'm Pacquiao, I'm done after that. Why risk your health and spend months training ferociously if there is even the possibility of something like this happening?  It's not worth it.

However, you can't forget about the possibility of money. There are still millions and millions (and some more millions) of dollars waiting for Pac-Man if he chooses to fight again. 

While giving the middle finger to boxing would be an enticing option, it wouldn't be surprising to see Pac-Man return for another fight. 

But who would he match up with?

 

Timothy Bradley

It's the fight that everyone wants to see and no one wants to see, all at the same time.

On one hand, Pacquiao could take on Bradley again and beat him even more decisively, proving to the few doubters that he truly is the best in the world.

Of course, there's always the chance that Pacquiao loses, and then everyone immediately assumes the first fight really was the correct decision. It's a bit of a lose-lose situation for the 33-year-old.

Additionally, there's a good chance of the ratings for this fight absolutely bombing. Everyone knows how bad the first fight was, and they immediately pointed towards corruption. Why would they bother wasting their money to watch the same thing?

 

Floyd Mayweather

Yeah, sure, as long as Money May doesn't rot away in his jail cell (via latimes.com):

Saragosa was told by Mayweather's attorneys that the boxer's plan to fight for two more years was in danger because jail deprives him of proper nutrition and exercise. In a 35-page request, the attorneys cited a doctor's report that said Mayweather's caloric intake was one-fifth as much as it was outside jail and that isolation effectively stops him from exercise.

So, he's not eating and not exercising, and he was denied a bid to leave for house arrest. Yup, this is going to end real well for Mayweather, who is expected to be released on bail in August.

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Add this recent development to the fact that Pacquiao and Mayweather are light-years apart on money, drug testing and other issues, and you have a fight that isn't going to happen. 

It would be the most-hyped, most-watched fight of the decade, but it's just a pipe dream. 

 

Other Options

The other options aren't great for Pacquiao. He could fight Juan Manuel Marquez or Miguel Cotto again, but he's already beaten both of them.

However, his fights with Marquez were some of the closest of Pacquiao's career, and he hasn't fought Cotto, who recently looked solid against Floyd Mayweather, since 2009. 

Nonetheless, these are hardly two fights that will have everyone on the edge of their seats in anticipation.

Pac-Man could, instead, go a complete different direction and face off with Sergio Martinez.

Al Bello/Getty Images
It would be tough. Pacquiao began his career as a wee little light flyweight at 108 pounds and has moved all the way up to welterweight at 147 pounds. 

Martinez, who is 49-2-2 and hasn't been tested in a while, is at middleweight at 158 pounds. It's not ideal, but if these two met somewhere in the middle—at, say, super welterweight—it might happen.

This is also a bit of a pipe dream, I'll admit, but there's no denying how intriguing and pay-per-view worthy a 5'6.5" Pacquiao vs. a 5'10" Martinez would be. 

 

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