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Manny Pacquiao: 5 Opponents We Want to See Him Fight Next

First LastCorrespondent IMay 8, 2011

Manny Pacquiao: 5 Opponents We Want to See Him Fight Next

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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 06:  Boxer Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines greets the crowd before he steps on the scale at 145 pounds before his WBO welterweight title fight against Shane Mosley at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 6, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacqui
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    After defeating four-time world champion Shane Mosley, Manny Pacquiao continues to reign supreme as boxing's pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.

    Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KO) defeated Mosley (46-7-1) by a dominant unanimous decision, his third in a row.

    It lacked the firepower that previous Pacquiao fights had and it seemed he was more respectable of Mosley than he was of any of his other previous opponents.

    Will these five fighters bring out the intensity that was absent in the Mosley fight? They are the most legitimate challengers for the "Pacman," and they would be the toughest opponents of his career, at least in the past few years.

No. 5: Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KO)

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    ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - NOVEMBER 20:  Sergio Martinez enters the ring against Paul Williams for the Middleweight Championship fight on November 20, 2010 at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Can Manny Pacquiao do what Henry Armstrong couldn’t when he challenged Ceferino Garcia for the middleweight title over 70 years ago?

    Armstrong was awarded a draw in a fight he should have been given a victory and was robbed of a fourth lineal title at a time when there were only eight to be won. If Pacquiao would defeat Martinez, it would be his an unprecedented fifth lineal title.

    Martinez may be too big for the smaller Pacquiao, but so were Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto and Oscar De La Hoya. Margarito even weighed 17 pounds heavier than Pacquiao on fight night.

    They weren’t middleweights like Sergio Martinez, but they were bigger than Pacquiao, who started his career at 106 pounds, and it's not out of the question he could be on Pacquiao's agenda.

No. 4: Timothy Bradley (27-0, 11 KO)

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    NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 10:  Timothy Bradley connects with a left jab on Junior Witter down during their WBC Light Welterweight fight on May 10, 2008 at Nottingham Ice Arena in Nottingham, England. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
    John Gichigi/Getty Images

    If WBC and WBO Light-Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley makes it past Amir Khan on July 23rd, he will have earned a shot at the pound-for-pound king and a well deserved shot at that.

    With an undefeated record and incredible work ethic, Bradley may be the toughest and most dangerous challenger out there for Pacquiao at the moment.

    The only worry about this fight is Bradley’s head, which has been the cause of many cuts and technical decisions in his career, including his last one against the previously unbeaten Devon Alexander.

    This may be one that doesn’t get a lot of PPV buys even if it should. The headbutt may lead to an anticlimactic ending but it also may lead to a victory for Bradley, which makes it intriguing in the worst kind of ways.

No. 3: Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KO)

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    LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 11:  (R-L) Victor Ortiz walks back to his corner with referee Vic Drakulich after Ortiz knocks down Lamont Petersen in the third round during the super lightweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 11, 2010 in Las Vegas,
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

     “Vicious” Victor Ortiz put on the best fight of his career when he won a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten up-and-coming prospect Andre Berto in April to win the WBC welterweight title.

    The back-and-forth war with Berto was a Fight of the Year candidate, and these are the types of opponents Pacquiao should be facing if it’s not the 40-0 Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    The 24-year-old has an amazing back story following his young career, and it would make for great storylines to parallel that of Pacquiao's.

    There is a rumored September clash with Ortiz and Mayweather Jr., but the winner of the fight would be the next best choice no matter who wins.

No. 2: Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KO)

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    LAS VEGAS - JULY 31:  WBA/WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (L) hits Juan Diaz in the fourth round of their bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center July 31, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Marquez retained his WBA and WBO lightweight championship bel
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Juan Manuel Marquez is the best opponent Pacquiao has ever faced and he's also the toughest opponent he has ever beaten.

    Their third fight may go down November 12th if Marquez accepts the $5 million contract he was offered. He has till mid-May to accept.

    The first fight was a ruled a draw, even after Pacquiao dropped the Mexican-boxer three times in the first round. Marquez rallied to land counter-punches throughout and even put Pacquiao on the ropes to land his own power shots throughout the rest of the bout.

    The second meeting was just as good as the first, with Pacquiao earning a controversial split-decision that many thought Marquez had won. A single-point difference on the scorecards, which came from a knockdown Pacquiao scored in the third round, was the difference in the fight.

    The third bout would be the biggest of the three, and with Marquez on a roll, defeating Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis, he should be next.

No. 1: Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0, 25 KO)

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    MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 01: Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr watches a game between the Miami Heat  and the Detroit Pistons at American Airlines Arena on December 1, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading a
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    This is the obvious choice, but it is beginning to look more like a dream than reality.

    If the rumors are true, Mayweather may be facing Victor Ortiz in the fall, but who wouldn’t want to see the winner of that bout fight Pacquiao?

    Everyone wants to see Mayweather put his undefeated record on the line against the Filipino icon in what should be one of the biggest fights in the history of the sport.

    It's a clash of styles, personalities and skill that makes for great drama, but it may just be too good to be true. They negotiated before, and it seemed to be all set and done, but issues over drug testing caused the bout to be called off.

    If before wasn't the time, now definitely is the time.

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