Pacquiao Ducks Bigger Tests To Fight Cotto

July 23, 2009

Manny Pacquiao is a tremendous fighter, and arguably the best fighter pound-for-pound in the world today. He rated #1 in the most recent DSH rankings and no reasonable person could put him out of the top 5.

PacMan's recently announced upcoming fight with Miguel Cotto in November should be the stiffest challenge he will face since he last fought Juan Manuel Marquez.

So why do I feel let down when I hear about this fight?

The most significant reason is that there are at least 4 other better fights out there for Pacquiao to take. Each of those fighters can make a claim to being a top 5 pound-for-pound fighter as well. All of these fights would produce big revenues and just as importantly, gain more respect for the Filipino fighter.

These are the other fighters I would rather see Pacquiao fight and hope that he will in the future:

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Mayweather is the biggest name out there and the most skilled pure boxer that Pacquiao would have to face. As PBF was once considered the top dog before his retirement, it would be a true battle for boxing supremacy. Undoubtedly this fight would make more money than any other Pacquiao could create.

Further, defeating an undefeated Mayweather would give Pacquiao a unique status among his contemporaries. It would also take some guts for PacMan to challenge himself against a boxer who is more slick than any opponent he has ever faced before. It wouldn't hurt that a victory over the Pretty Boy also would equate to a victory over the man who had recently beaten Pacquiao's other nemesis, Juan Manuel Marquez.

Obstacles: Mayweather still has to fight and defeat Marquez in September, which will not be quite as easy as some think. Currently, Pacquiao would likely have had to wait around for Mayweather to be ready for that fight, and that could mean another 2 month delay. That shouldn't be a problem in the future though.

Lastly, there is currently an ongoing dispute regarding the financial split between these two fighters if they ever fought. Of course, much of the negotiating could be settled based upon what PPV numbers the Mayweather-Marquez fight will earn.

2. Juan Manuel Marquez

A third fight with Marquez would clear up the only real blemish on Pacquiao's record. Most believe he lost the last fight to Marquez and no one believes he beat him decisively in either of their two fights. If history were written today, some may legitimately rank Marquez ahead of Pacquiao considering it is well known that Pacquiao has avoided this fight for some time.

Additionally, if Marquez has beaten Mayweather, he is legitimately the #1 fighter in the world, as he will have beaten a better fighter than Pacquiao at every turn since their last fight (Joel Casamayor > David Diaz; Juan Diaz > dehydrated Oscar De La Hoya; Floyd Mayweather Jr. > Ricky Hatton).

Obstacles: Marquez is a big enough name, especially if he defeats Mayweather, but not the biggest. Again, Pacquiao would currently have had to wait a little before he gets this fight. But that won't be a problem in the future.

Marquez is not likely to beat Mayweather and if he does he may start to believe he deserves 50% of the purse which will not please the apparently very money-conscious Pacquiao.

3. Shane Mosley

If reports are true that Shane Mosley was willing to go as low as 140 pounds and Pacquiao still didn't fight him, I think we can call this a run-and-hide duck job. Mosley's style may be the greatest threat to Pacquiao because he has what no other fighter does: the speed to stay with him, the experience to outmaneuver him, and the power to knock him out.

For Manny to take that fight would be gutsy and a very real challenge. He would get and deserve mad respect from boxing fans everywhere. Additionally, this would be a huge money fight as big as any other than Mayweather.

Obstacles: There were no obstacles to taking this fight currently other than fear of what Mosley might do. Mosley was willing to concede on virtually every issue including weight and money. Perhaps Pacquiao will consider the fight later when the 37-year old Mosley officially becomes over-the-hill. However, we have yet to see true signs of slippage from Sugar Shane so he will likely be out of luck.

4. Paul Williams

To attempt to defeat this incredibly tall, long, and talented Welterweight would be a challenge for anyone. For Pacquiao to do it, he would be at a truly severe height and reach disadvantage.

Yet were he to take on the challenge, Pacquiao's status as a fearless warrior would forever be acknowledged. The heroic effort would even surpass Oscar De La Hoya's brave effort to dethrone Middlweight stud Bernard Hopkins.

If he were to win, especially by knockout, many people, myself included, would seriously consider whether he is the greatest fighter we have ever seen. You cannot buy that kind of standing or respect.

Obstacles: Williams is not the biggest name out there, although I believe the incredible contrast in body types would generate huge additional interest. Williams poses too many problems for Pacquiao with his reach, activity, and power. Perhaps Pacman himself knows he can't win this one. Thus, even the chance at boxing immortality will not be enough of a lure.

Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for

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