Just as the current pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao used to wish to land a fight with the big names then, almost everybody from lightweight to welterweights are either vocal, or silently hoping, to land a mega-fight with boxing's top dog.
Supposing Pacquiao have no intention of running for office in his country and intends to fight a couple more years and sweep through the bests of the lightweight and junior welterweight division, how would he fare?
History had given us true boxing warrior kings in the past; those who gave their all despite being quite aged before getting conquered by some new comer who was then expected to take that warrior king's place in the boxing kingdom.
The great Mexican fighter Julio Cesar Chavez was such an example. Despite getting bloodied and battered by the budding Oscar De La Hoya, he never gave up, and put up a great fight that, despite losing the bout, earned him a tremendous amount of respect from his countrymen, and the world.
In light of that wishful thinking, how would Pacquiao fare against these young fighters? This list includes only those that Pacquiao has not fought before.
1. Juan Diaz - Lightweight
Diaz is not a power-puncher, and his compiled KO's are mostly from flurries. Diaz throws a great volume of punches on his bouts. To be able to throw that volume, he closes in on his opponents. That way, it was always easy for him to retract his thrown fist while the other is on it's way to its mark.
If he closes in on Pacquiao, it'll be the end of his dreams of being a prize fighter.
2. Michael Katsidis - Lightweight
Katsidis is an awkward fighter, much like Vic Darchinyan. Though he packs decent power on his punches, he's not a technical defensive fighter, and thus almost always leaves himself open for the taking. Aged, and dizzy Joel Casamayor took him down with a single counter right hook, and he was never able to recompose himself.
Katsidis can consider himself a winner if lasts five rounds with Pacquiao, even if he loses on the sixth.
3. Breidis Prescott - Lightweight
Prescott is a notorious power-puncher, with most of his wins coming by way of knockout within the first three rounds. He has a very good chance of upsetting Pacquiao if he lands a clean shot.
If he can match up Pacquiao's technicality and in-ring intelligence, he has a good chance at winning; that is, if he has a very good defense, too.
4. Amir Khan - Lightweight
Khan had sparred with Pacquiao a number of times in the past. Freddie Roach use him against Pacquiao for dual purposes; to match up Pacquiao's speed, and give him real sparring competition, while developing Khan's defense and in-ring smarts.
Though Khan is quite accustomed to Pacquiao's tactics, his chin will always be his curse. KO loss within four rounds.
5. Timothy Bradley - Jr. Welterweight
Bradley is a slick boxer, but has no real power behind his punches. He's easy to drop as well. He can use his height and reach advantage to prevent Pacquiao from coming in, but as soon as Pacquiao finds his reach, it'll be over for him.
Pacquiao had no trouble finding De La Hoya in his range, and Bradley can not fend off Pacquiao a whole fight.
6. Paulie Malignaggi - Jr. Welterweight
Malignaggi's a slick boxer as well, and quite technical, both defensively and offensively. Malignaggi's problem, however, is that he can not drop an opponent. Despite that, he's a sturdy fighter, able to withstand flurries and power punches.
He may last longer than expected, and the only stoppage the bout may get is from the third man inside the ring.
7. Marcos Maidana - Jr. Welterweight
After upsetting Victor Ortiz on his last fight, I can consider Maidana to have that capability to upset Pacquiao as well. He packs power on his punches, and is strong-willed and hungry. Though he's quite easy to drop, too, Maidana recomposes himself very easily like Juan Manuel Marquez.
If he can develop great defense to fend off attacks, he can win a punchfest with Pacquiao. But if Pacquiao catches him with a clean shot to begin with...Pacquiao is no Ortiz in terms of power.
I just hope Pacquiao realizes that boxing is a warrior's sport, and that the only way to go down is to lose and hand over the mantle in a gentlemanly manner.
History has proven that fighters of that sort earn even more respect than those who choose to come off the sport "just like that".