Manny Pacquiao is still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing.
Despite the robbery that took place in June when Timothy Bradley was somehow given the decision over Pacquiao, there is little doubt that Pacquiao can handle himself in the ring and outclass most opponents.
Pacquiao will almost certainly be tested when he gets in the ring in December against Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.
This will be the fourth chapter in the Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry, and it should be a close fight. Pacquiao has won two tight decisions, and the third fight ended up as a draw.
It seems unlikely that Marquez has the ability to knock out Pacquiao.
But at a certain point in his career, Pacquiao may find himself vulnerable to getting knocked out. Pacquiao, 33, has been stopped twice in his career. The last time was in 1999 against Medgoen Singsurat in Thailand.
While Pacquiao would be in for the toughest fight of his career if he could ever get in the ring with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., it seems that it would take a miracle for that bout to become reality. Even if it did happen, a knockout by Mayweather probably wouldn't be the most likely result. Money seems much more inclined to put his boxing skills on display and pound out a decision.
But young Saul "Canelo" Alvarez might be the biggest threat to Pacquiao. He is a hard-hitting fighter who can deliver explosive punches with either hand.
Alvarez, 22, has reeled off a 41-0-1 record that includes 30 knockouts.
He is an aggressive and confident fighter who believes in himself, and getting a chance to step into the ring with Pacquiao would give him a chance to establish himself as a top fighter.
Alvarez has not fought anybody of Pacquiao's class and ability, and many would think that he would be in over his head. However, that's often the case with young fighters. They have to prove themselves against the best fighters in order to convince the public that they have legitimate skills.
If this fight was ever made, it would have to be fought at 150 pounds. Alvarez has fought his three most recent bouts at 154 pounds. On the other hand, Pacquiao fought Bradley at 147 pounds. Pacquiao fought 150-pound Antonio Margarito in 2010, and he registered a unanimous decision over his opponent despite spotting him 5.5 pounds.
Pacquiao is the sixth-ranked pound-for-pound boxer in the world by BoxRec.com, while Alvarez is rated eighth in that category.
A well-trained Pacquiao would probably have the edge on the hard-punching Alvarez. However, Alvarez comes in at full speed, and if he fought with consistent aggression and his punches were accurate, he might have the best chance of any fighter to knock out Pacquiao.
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