After the stunning 6th Rd knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao is left with the difficult decision of whats next. After now coming off of 2 consecutive losses, the seemingly inevitable bout against Floyd Mayweather now appears to be in distinct jeopardy with Mayweather now holding all the leverage in terms of bargaining for the share of fight earnings. With that being one of the few fights that seem big enough to attract Pacquiao, one has to wonder where he goes from here. At this point, there only seems to be a handful of options right now for Pacquiao to choose and pursue.
Timothy Bradley-For Manny, one of his options could be to avenge a fight that few believe, and still believe, that he actually lost. For the 700,000+ that watched the fight, the result seemed like an obvious victory for Pacquiao. When the scorecards were being announced, it seemed strange that Bradley had even won as many rounds as he did, but when the final result was that Bradley had won, the whole world was left shocked and left wondering what exactly was the robbery they had just witnessed. After that night, everybody found it a foregone conclusion that Pacquiao would naturally elect to garner an immediate rematch against Bradley. Those speculations were proved to be false however when Pacquiao chose to fight Marquez instead of Bradley. Now that Manny has lost some of his luster coming off of 2 straight defeats, he could be looking for a fight that would gain a big audience, and also provide him with a bigger share of the money pool. While Timothy Bradley may not be the biggest name out of the three, this could be the easiest fight for Pacquiao to rebound, and the most profitable fight for him.
Juan Manuel Marquez (5th fight)-Even though Pacquiao is currently 2-1-1 against Juan Manuel Marquez, that one defeat could be the reason that Pacquiao gets back into the ring against Marquez. Pacquiao went into the last bout thinking that he could finally put that chapter behind him, and use Marquez to reestablish himself as one of the top fighters in the business. If he could have defeated Marquez soundly, he could have almost forced Mayweathers’ hand in terms of what it would take to get them both in the ring together. Unfortunately, one stunning punch from Juan Manuel Marquez changed all of that when he knocked Manny Pacquiao out cold late in the 6th round. Now, Pacquiao has went from hopefully putting the whole Pacquiao-Marquez saga behind him, to possibly having to step into the ring with him for a 5th time. Pacquiao may feel he has something to prove against Marquez because 2 of the bouts many feel should have been won by Marquez, and with the latest bout ending in stunning KO fashion, some around the world could rightfully say the record should be 1-3 against Marquez. These two always seem to put a stellar fight, so drawing a pay-per-view audience should not be a problem. These two are also friends so they could easily find common ground to get in the ring and fight each other to prove who is truly the better man. The problem could be what is the profit share between the two.
Floyd Mayweather-The last viable option for Pacquiao is not only the option that every boxing fan wants to see, but also the one that seems the hardest to accomplish at the point in time. Even before Pacquiao lost a controversial decision to Timothy Bradley and a knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather was reluctant to agree to terms with Pacquiao on a bout that would let the two face off. Even though Pacquiao relented and agreed on some matters and conditions, the main issue remained to the the split in revenue from the fight. Mayweather wanted a substantially bigger cut of the pie, while Pacquiao wanted at least 40-50%. Now that Pacquiao has 2 straight defeats on his record, one can only imagine that Mayweather may feel that he can use it against Manny to up his demands and try to get an even bigger split of revenue. Pacquiao may feel the need to accept the fight on reduced terms just to get into the ring and potentially pull off what many feel would be a huge upset. Although this is the fight that undoubtedly would gain the most money with it being the most demanded fight potentially in decades, it is also the fight that boxing fans now are starting to think is almost impossible to being about.
Even after his crushing defeat, Manny Pacquiao still has options available for him to still get into the ring, and to continue to be a top level boxer in terms of opponent, monetary reward, and plain boxing prestige. The question of what’s next for Manny can only be answered by one person…Manny himself.