Manny Pacquiao: Who's Next After Sugar Shane Mosley?

Vitali SCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2011

Manny Pacquiao: Who's Next After Sugar Shane Mosley?

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    Who should fight Manny Pacquiao next? You've probably heard this question too many times already.

    Every boxing fan (and especially every Manny Pacquiao fan), wants to know who Pacquiao will fight next, and what new greatness he will achieve with his next fight. Eight weight divisions is no joke, and Manny Pacquiao has stunned boxing fans over the past few years by accumulating them all.

    May 7, Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2) and Sugar Shane Mosley (46-6-1) will fight in Las Vegas, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Both fighters seem excited and eager to get going.

    For Mosley, this is a chance to elevate his name to a point where it has never been before. Even beating Oscar De La Hoya back in the day would not stand up to what beating Pacquiao would do for his career now.

    For Pacquiao, Mosley is another big name to add to his resume. Mosley is a living legend, who is still considered by many to be a very dangerous opponent, even for Pacquiao.

    Beating Mosley would not do much for Pacquiao’s current status as a boxer, as his win would provoke too many critics, saying, "Mosley was way past his prime," "Mosley was too old," "Mosley was way too slow for Pacquiao" and "Pacquiao just took an easy fight in Mosley."

    The only thing that can quiet the naysayers is if Mosley puts up a very good fight and gives Pacquiao and Freddie Roach a run for their money. 

    The question that many fans are asking themselves already is: Who can Manny fight next if he defeats Shane Mosley in May?

    Here are some names I find interesting.

    P.S. After reading my list, I'd like to know your thoughts. Criticism is welcome with arms wide open!

    I also found this online poll with over 900 votes about who Pacquiao should fight next. This is a freshly posted, December 2010 poll. Interestingly, I noticed that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not even on the list.

    Thanks for reading.

7. Marcos Maidana

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    After suffering a loss to Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana (29-2-0) is looking for redemption and a championship-belt shot.

    He is one of those boxers who displays his heart over and over, and proves to the public that he is fully submerged in the sport of boxing. He has no trouble taking shots and coming forward to give his own, and his knockout rate of 87 percent speaks for itself.

    The main concern I have is Maidana’s non-existent defense. He is a brawler who abandons all technique. With an opponent like Pacquiao, a fight could end badly.

    Maidana would struggle to respond as Pacquiao counters throughout the fight. Pacquiao’s movement and punch rate would overwhelm and confuse Maidana.

    The reason I see this as a possibility is because Maidana does have a great chin, and is a fighter who can frustrate his opponents. If he is capable of making Pacquiao stand and trade blows, I can see Pacquiao ending up in deep trouble in the later rounds.

6. Saul Alvarez

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    Saul Alvarez (35-0-1) is blowing up.

    A young, freckle-faced and unbeaten Mexican fighter, Alvarez has made a name for himself already, and is most definitely eyeing a championship. At the age of 20, his resume is more than impressive.

    The main question is: Will he be ready for the likes of Pacquiao? I think that if he keeps winning, this fight is unavoidable.

    It would generate good PPV numbers and could prove to be an exciting match. As for now, Alvarez might be a bit too green.

    A few more wins against recognizable names, and he will become the man to fight in the welterweight division.

5. Amir Khan

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    Both Amir Khan (24-1-0) and Manny Pacquiao share a very important advantage—their head trainer, Freddie Roach.

    I doubt this fight would ever happen, because it would mean that one of the two would have to do this without Roach. Neither of them would want to be the one fighting without him in the corner.

    But let’s take Roach out of the equation (as hard as it may be), for just a second.

    This would be a jaw-dropping bout.

    Khan, a young guy capable of going the distance and throwing from bell to bell, versus a powerhouse whose strategy and boxing skill work together in superb unison.

    The problem that Pacquiao would have to overcome is the distance that Khan would keep. Getting inside would be crucial for Pacquiao, and a dangerous thing to attempt.

    For Khan, any mistake would be destructive. Pacquiao getting inside and moving Khan to the ropes would mean the end.

4. Sergio Martinez

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    With his recent obliteration of Paul Williams, Serigo Martinez (46-2-2) has become a "crowned king" in the middleweight division. His stock has soared, and new opportunities are knocking on his door non-stop.

    The only issue in Martinez facing Pacquiao is weight. Martinez is too heavy, and Pacquiao is too light.

    Will Pacquiao want to go up in weight and try for yet another world title in a higher weight division? Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach says it’s out of the question.

    Maybe Martinez will decide to give it a go, and attempt to beat the true king of boxing.

    If it ever came to fruition, this could prove to be a very interesting and unpredictable fight.

    Martinez has respectable power and is quick on his feet for a guy of his weight. Pacquiao would have to work really hard in the proposed fight, as trading with Martinez would be way too dangerous.

    Martinez, on the other hand, will want to shorten his distance with Pacquiao, and work on cornering or catching the "king" on the ropes.

    I would pay to see this fight without any hesitation.

3. Juan Manuel Marquez

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    Oh, boy—I can feel the Pacquiao fans attacking me already.

    Nevertheless, Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1) vs. Manny Pacquiao is a fight that a massive amount of fans really want to see. A third bout will slam the door on all of the drama and speculation, and will put many minds at ease.

    Marquez has won more than half of his fights by knockout, so his power is obvious. The issue I can see here is the weight.

    Will Manny Pacquiao want to come down in weight for this fight? Not likely.

    Should Marquez go up in weight to fight Pacquiao? That’s suicide.

    Again, many people will start saying that Marquez is too old and too weak for Manny. At this point, I don’t buy that. At the right weight, Marquez can put in enough effort to give us an explosive fight, solidifying his nickname, "Dinamita."

2. Andre Berto

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    In my opinion, the second-best fight for Manny Pacquiao would be a bout with Andre Berto (27-0-0).

    Just like Mayweather Jr., Berto is sporting an unbeaten record. Andre is simply good for the sport—he has charisma, looks and style.

    With a knockout rate of almost 80 percent, Berto makes a strong statement in the ring, as well. He would be capable of knocking Pacquiao out, no problem...if Pacquiao were cemented to the floor.

    The main problem for Berto would be Pacquiao’s non-stop lateral movement, and his in-and-out style. Still, Berto is no amateur and can find ways to adapt.

    A lot of Berto’s fights end early, which is a declaration of his power, but leaves a question mark over his ability to last the whole fight against a very active opponent.

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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    Did anyone expect Floyd not to be No. 1?

    This fight needs to be had. Pacquiao's resume is incomplete if he does not put a blemish on the spotless record of the fast, cocky, trash-talking defensive wonder that is Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    Without Floyd, Pacquiao is still a tremendous champion. But without Floyd, people will forever wonder "what if?

    Most people agree that Mayweather Jr. poses the greatest risk to Manny Pacquiao.

    Oh, and let's not forget the potentially record-breaking payout.

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