Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 did not end in the same manner of the three previous fights—with controversial scorecard decisions. The latest version famously, and infamously if you're Pacquiao, ended in a cold knockout landed by Juan Manuel Marquez.
Yet, even with both fighters recently bringing up the possibility of retirement, it appears each will continue their boxing careers.
Thus an appropriate question comes to mind: Who should each man fight next?
House money says that neither is going to want yet another rematch, not immediately anyway. However, Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, did intimate such a bout was a possibility in his post-fight press conference on Saturday night.
Still, the likelihood could probably be set at about 10 percent. That is probably the percentage of boxing fans who would want to see a fifth version of this fight, especially before they see an inaugural version of Pacquiao vs. Mayweather or a rematch of Mayweather vs. Marquez.
The simple answer is that one of the two should match up with Mayweather, who is ready to fight again. His timetable is early 2013. Could either be ready for such a fight?
The more likely competitor in such circumstances would be Marquez. And that's just fine.
Though Mayweather was relatively dominant in the first match, reason has it that Marquez would provide an even more fierce battle this time around. His knockout over the man he previously couldn't beat should give him hope that he could be the first to defeat Mayweather in a professional fight.
As for Pacquiao, a Timothy Bradley rematch makes more sense than any other possibility.
Though Pacquiao was relatively dominant against Bradley in their first bout (119-109 decision in favor of Pacquiao), another go-around would be good for both fighters.
Bradley isn't quite the competition that Floyd Mayweather would be, but he's also no slouch and would present a difficult challenge.
If Manny were to pass the test with flying colors, he could move on and become Mayweather's second opponent in 2013. If he fails, he may rightly decide it's time to retire. Either one would be acceptable.
Either way, a Pacquiao vs. Marquez rematch should be avoided at all cost.
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