Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Is Bob Arum playing safe with Manny Pacquiao's next fight

With Floyd Mayweather Jr Vs. Juan Manuel Márquez fight postponed to September later this year due to Mayweather's rib injury, any chance of either of the two facing Manny Pacquiao may not happen till mid of next year. So who should Pacquiao fight next is a multi-million dollar decision. He is a prized fighter and there is a line of challengers waiting to face him. Who is the lucky one is what Paquiao's camp is working on these day.
As per reports, Miguel Cotto is coming out to be the chosen one. Question here is that is he the right choice for Paquiao.

Let us examine the possible alternatives. Firstly the big question is on what weight the fight should happen. I feel that the Super lightweight (140 lb) is the ideal weight Pacquiao should take the fight. As we saw in Ricky Hatton's fight, he is best at this weight. So who all can be his opponents at or around this weight (+- 4 lbs)

One boxer that readily comes to our mind is
Shane Mosley. He is a world class boxer with huge fan following and a formidable opponent for Pacquio. This no doubt can be the best fight we all would witness in present times. However he is little too bigger for Pacquiao. At 5'9'' and fighting at 147lb he can no way make it near 140 lb. I think this was perhaps main reason for talks between these two camps to breakdown and another may be split of fight purse as Mosley's camp would want a close 50-50 split.

Next can be Andre Berto. Undefeated welter weight (147 lb) champion. He may not have that a big fan following right now which may deter Pacquiao's camp to take a fight. Another reason can again be his reluctance or inability to make it to 144 - 140 lb range.

As we move down the weight category to 140 lb we have an option of Andreas Kotelnik or Timothy Bradley or say Nate Campbell. Kotelnik is busy fighting Amir Khan, Bradley may be less experienced and Campbell may be too old to take on Pacquiao. Also none of these fighters have a big fan following to make a great PPV fight.

Lets move further down to 135 lb category. One name that comes to my mind is of Edwin Valero. He is is a great fighter, a south paw, has tremendous punching power and speed. Just like Pacquiao! Further he is available and has shown interest in fighting Pacquiao. What more adds to the fame of this guy! He is currently Lightweight WBC champion. He holds a perfect record of 25 victories and all these coming by a way of knockouts. Infact first 18 of his fights were won with a KO in first round itself. He may not have fought many quality fighters till date, but he surely deserves a chance to take on one, and who could be a better opponent than Pacquiao. I think this fight is the best fight which Manny Paquiao camp should consider as next one.
Here are few reasons for same:

  1. Both boxers have same size and the contracted weight to fight would be ideal for both. They both would be in best shape making it a great fight to watch.
  2. They both have similar energy levels, speed and punching power.
  3. Purse negotiation won't be any problem for Pacquiao's camp and even a 65-35 split can be arranged.
  4. There would be great air behind the fight. Valero has a good fan following now, has fought in USA and has a claim to fame that is always knocked his opponent down.
Coming back to the choice of Cotto. I just don't think it is a good choice. Cotto seems like a fighter on a decline and had struggled to win against Clottey in his last bout. Also there may not be much air behind the fight.

Where do we go now!


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