Manny Pacquiao Needs Big-Name Challenger for Next Fight

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 08:  Manny Pacquiao screams in the ring before taking on Juan Manuel Marquez during their welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

While Manny Pacquiao and Bob Arum scour the world to find the next challenger for the boxing superstar, one thing is abundantly clear about the direction they must go: Pacquiao needs to fight an established star. 

According to Ronnie Nathanielsz of, Pacquiao could be planning on having two fights in 2013. 

ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo told us that Pacquiao...said he is not sure when his next fight will be but he could have two fights this year. 

Much has been said and written about Pacquiao since his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December, including Dr. Rustico Jimenez, who has never examined Pacquiao, telling reporters that he was worried Pacquiao was showing early signs of Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease. 

Pacquiao's wife told USA Today after the loss that she would like to see her husband retire, but he said he has no plans to quit right now. 

Since Pacquiao is going to keep his career going after two straight losses, something has to be done to reboot himself after this recent swoon. 

Taking a fight that is basically a sure thing against some low-level up-and-coming boxer would actually do more harm than good for Pacquiao. 

There are already skeptics who feel that Pacquiao is not the fighter he used to be. Legendary trainer Freddie Roach, who works with Pacquiao, told reporters last year (via that his client understands some people think he is washed up. 

I think Manny Pacquiao realizes that some people in the world think he’s not that good anymore maybe; that he’s washed up a little bit, because his last three fights haven’t been the old Manny Pacquiao, and I think he has something to prove to people.

With the cynics already out there and growing in numbers following the Marquez fight, taking a fight of lesser quality is going to be perceived as Pacquiao doing what he needs to do in order to get a win. 

Pacquiao doesn't need that kind of publicity right now. He needs to find someone worthy of standing in the same ring with him, who is going to give him a great fight and prove that he can be the best fighter in the world again. 

There may not be a lot of options for Pacquiao to choose from right now, but his people have to make sure they find the best name available.