Just over a month after Manny Pacquiao defeated a game Timothy Bradley in their Las Vegas rematch, one has to wonder what the future has left in store for the five weight champion, who surely is heading toward retirement within the next three years or so.
Rumblings that Pacquiao will not be signing a contract extension with long time promoter Bob Arum have lightly surfaced, although nothing has been confirmed. But what if, as often internet rumours are, this baseless news turns out to be false? What other fights are left to delight the paying public in the Top Rank stable?
Although he was beaten in the last fight, a fifth showdown with Juan Manuel Marquez does not excite for the most part, although surely there would be some degree of curiosity as to whether Pacquiao can right his wrong, just like Marquez did when he was on the receiving end when he lost on points in their third fight. But if Mike Alvarado beats Marquez in their upcoming fight then that series could finally be laid to rest, especially as Marquez has also said that he does not particularly want or need another bout.
There has been a lot of speculation that last month’s Bradley vs Pacquiao fight made average Pay Per View numbers, so Arum will probably not be too keen on staging another. Although Bradley is a good fighter, his style is too laid back for the blood thirsty mainstream public and would make a fight with anybody look too methodical. Ruslan Provodnikov has gained a lot of attention lately with his walk forward pressure style but Pacquiao would pick him apart much in the same way he did Antonio Margarito back in 2010. The Russian has little defense and likes to take punches to land them. Provodnikov does possess heavy power, though, so if he lands one or two then who knows how Pacquiao would respond? Regardless, this fight does not have much going for it. Jessie Vargas has yet to prove his worth on PPV and is currently not fighting in the welterweight division, although he could be a potential opponent if Pacquiao does decide to return to light-welterweight, as trainer Freddie Roach has recommended. But the Top Rank stable does not have the same calibre of fighters in this division as they do at the heavier weight class, so Arum would have a big obstacle in front of him to make any PPV event notable.
Let’s imagine that the rumours turn out to be true and Pacquiao does not sign an extension and moves to Golden Boy Promotions. Then what? Well, I think the remainder of his boxing career would gain more sparkle for a couple of obvious reasons.
I will state the most obvious one first, and that is a fight with Floyd Mayweather would be a lot more closer to becoming a reality, given that Mayweather Promotions works in conjunction with Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather has a good working relationship with Richard Schaefer. The one thing that could scupper this is that there have been accusations that Oscar De La Hoya and Schaefer could part ways and Mayweather has said that he would follow Schaefer should the former Swiss bank manager take off. But, should Schaefer stay then fans could just finally manage to get their dream fight! But should the Filipino move down in weight then this fight would become distant once again.
You just never know what the politics in boxing are going to create, whether it is a new problem or a pleasant surprise.
The second reason is that Golden Boy Promotions have a more rich selection of fighters for Pacquiao to fight, many of which have the prospective to make for blockbuster events. Fights with Canelo Alvarez, Adrien Broner, Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana just to name a few would bring Manny Pacquiao the Pay Per View success he has been missing out on lately. Although not as expansive, Golden Boy’s choice of 140lb fighters include Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse and Lamont Peterson. Let’s not forget that Zab Judah is always there to take on the best that is put in front of him and would provide a style much different to what Pacquiao has fought.
Really, it is a no brainer as to why it is the right time to make that career defining move. But will he do it? I hope that he does not see a promotional move as merely an option. But something that he needs to do. Not just for his career but for his legacy and his whole life.