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Home Boxing WHERE DO THEY GO FROM HERE?
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WHERE DO THEY GO FROM HERE?

pacquiao_ vs_margaritoAfter the weekend’s events, a big question has been raised.  Where does many Pacquiao go from here?  I think the answer to this question depends on a few factors.  As much as Bob Arum would love it, nobody wants to see Cotto-Pacquiao 2.  He is a master of spin, as he made people think Margarito stood a chance with all the Manny distractions, rah rah Mexico blah blah blah.  He is only human, however.  There are only two realistic options for Manny Pacquiao, and one of them depends on this weekend’s events. 
 
If Paul Williams defeats Sergio Martinez this Saturday, as I suspect he will, option one is gone.  That would be to fight Martinez for the Middleweight championship.  While casual boxing fans may have been fooled into thinking Pacquiao became an actual champion last Saturday, here is an opportunity to not only win a belt in a ninth division, but to beat a legitimate champion to do so.  Plus the size disadvantage Pacquiao went through against Margarito would be no worse than it would be against Martinez . 
 
“Maravilla” may be a Middleweight champion, but he is really a Junior Middleweight.  Also, he is a boxer, and not a huge puncher.  Pacquiao would probably be the only opponent of Martinez ’s career who had a speed advantage over him.  It’s a very winnable fight for Pacquiao.  It is also a way to go out with the Henry Armstrong comparisons intact, without ever facing Mayweather.  Throw this plan out the window if Williams wins.  Williams vs. Pavlik becomes the big fight at Middleweight, and Manny is simply too small to fight one of those guys.
 
Mayweather might be waiting not only until Pacquiao is older and softer, which seems to slowly be happening, but also until he is the underdog.  Max Kellerman made the Sugar Ray Leonard comparisons very accurately, but they do not end with the opponent.  Even though Pacquiao (like Hagler) may be aging, Mayweather (like Leonard) is too, and driving the odds closer always pays better.  This fight was a mismatch in favor of Mayweather years ago… now it’s looking closer and closer.  We may later be calling Floyd a genius.  Manny’s only chance to get Mayweather to piss or get off the pot, is to do what Hagler finally (perhaps unknowingly) did… feign retirement.  When Hagler told Al Bernstein after a grueling Mugabi fight that, “This might be my last fight”, Leonard struck.  Threats to stop altogether may speed up the process.
 
For Margarito, he has taken a lot of punishment in recent years, and the damage is already showing up.  Remember how Johnny Tapia and Julio Cesar Chavez’s once unmarkable faces would look grotesque after each fight towards the end?  That is happening to Margarito.  He has also not fared well when stepping up to Junior Middleweight, and there is nothing left to accomplish at 147lbs..  Perhaps a rematch with Joshua Clottey might resurrect the career of the winner, but for what?  To lose to Andre Berto?  The Tijuana Tornado has officially turned the corner where he is just sustaining more damage.  Walk away.

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

 

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Michael Luscombe  - Manny Pacquiao vs. Sergio Martinez |
A match between Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez would definately be exciting. However Martinez is a much bigger opponent and I dont feel it would be fair to Pacquiao. But considering the current list of Pacquiao challengers, I dont see any other legitimate matches.
 
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