A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
What is next for Manny?
Manny Pacquiao gave Brandon Rios a boxing lesson as he used his quick hands and even quicker feet to win an easy decision. This was one of those fights easy to score; even a blind man could have scored it with no difficulty. The only challenge in the fight was to find a round to even give to Rios as each round was a Pacquiao pummeled Rios and rarely was the Pacman ever in trouble. (Pacquiao did admit he was hurt in the fifth round but for most part, it was Pacquiao doing the hitting and Rios mostly blocking Pacman’s punches with his head.)
Pacman averaged 20 punches connect per round and more than doubled the success rate of Rios so the impression is left, Pacquiao is back. The big question is what now for Pacquiao? Where does he go for a big money fight? For fighters like Pacquiao, it is not just about fighting but fighting big name opponents for big money; so Pacquiao has to figure out who to fight. The choices exist beginning with the obvious, Floyd Mayweather. This fight would have been a big money maker a couple of years ago but this being Pacquiao first victory in two years; the demand for the fight is not what it was two years ago. Two years ago, this fight was the big mega event preparing to set all records but the failure of both fighters to come together and Pacquiao losses ended any real demand for this fight.
Pacquiao does have option beginning with Tim Bradley, who just won against Pacquiao old nemesis, Juan Manuel Marquez. Bradley won a close controversial fight against Pacquiao that most thought Pacquiao won. Of course there is another Marquez fight that would bring in the big bucks but another loss to Marquez would severely hurt Pacquiao big money fight potential. Then there is Ruslan Provodnikov, who has shown an iron chin in losing a close fight to Bradley and an impressive victory over Mike Alvarado. Provodnikov is one of those dangerous fighters who could hurt Pacquiao but as Bradley showed, he can be out pointed but not out toughed.
Pacquiao is now reaching that point in his career that he is no longer the same fighter than in his prime and his ability has slowly ebbed but as he showed against Rios, he is still an elite Hall of Fame fighter but the question is what to do now.
From a practical point of view, Bradley would be the most logical since he does not have the power the others on this list and there is this revenge factor, di d he really beat me the first time. This was the fight he should have taken as oppose to Marquez but team Pacquiao went for “bigger money” and then found his career in temporary purgatory; depending upon a victory against Rios to salvage his career. His career is now salvaged and choices now remain who to fight? An impressive victory over Bradley opens doors for other bigger fights and Bradley is the best opponent for Pacquiao style.