After watching Manny Pacquiao pick apart Antonio Margarito on Saturday night (120-108, 118-110, 119-109), the most obvious question that keeps popping up is who is next for Pac Man? We all want to see Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather, but it will be a while before that happens.
There’s very little to choose from at 147 for Pacquiao. He has beaten Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto and now Margarito. There’s no Oscar De La Hoya to kick around anymore and Mike Jones doesn’t have enough of a name. Andre Berto could be an interesting option. But Bob Arum/Pacquiao may not want to risk losing a $100 million purse in a potential fight with Mayweather.
There won’t be a rematch with Margarito. A rematch with Cotto is possible, but it wouldn't be the most popular move. The odds of Pacquiao moving up to 154 are extremely slim, at least for now. So who should he fight next?
In this writer’s humble opinion there are only two logical options. At the risk of being called a wishful thinker, how about Shane Mosley? A little more than 41,000 people showed up at Cowboys Stadium. Considering what Jerry Jones and Arum were hoping for (60,000-plus), that is a major disappointment.
You think a Pacquiao-Mosley matchup would draw a big PPV number and pack the MGM Grand? Without a doubt. Mosley, despite his loss to Mayweather and shaky win over Sergio Mora, still has a name and still has some juice in the tank. He also has enough of a following to guarantee 1 million-plus in PPV buys. That would make HBO and Arum smile.
The Mosley-Mayweather bout drew $1.4 million buys. Pacquiao-Mosley could easily top that if the fight is made quickly. Meaning the two would have to hook up sometime next spring.
There is another option, although this is really wishful thinking on my part. Pacquiao could drop down to 140, which is much closer to his natural fighting weight of 135, and take on some of the best in that division. Arum said several months ago he’d be reluctant to put Pacquiao into the ring with a fighter like Tim Bradley because he doesn’t have enough of a name.
What if Bradley beats Devon Alexander on Jan. 29? Bradley would be 30-0 and etched in stone as the king of the 140-pound division. Pacquiao-Bradley would be something fight fans would like. But would it bring in enough money for Arum?