Manny Pacquiao Heads into Big Year; Eyes 9th Division Title vs. Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez
By Lou Imperial | July 10, 2014 8:53 PM EST
Eight-division world champion king Manny Pacquiao is going to have a dominant year of boxing ahead of him, as the Filipino boxing icon attempt to reclaim his old throne as the best fighter in the sports.
Apr 12, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Manny Pacquiao celebrates his victory over Timothy Bradley (not pictured) after their WBO World Welterweight Title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pacquiao won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Pacquiao is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision win over Timothy Bradley Jr. to get back the WBO Welterweight crown he conceded to the American more than two years ago.
Now in his first defense of his title reign, Pacquiao is considering a list of young and veteran fighters who can test his mettle at an advanced age of 35-years old. The list includes old foe such as Juan Manuel Marquez, Chris Algieri, Terrence Crawford, Robert Guerrero, Miguel Cotto and even light middleweight contender Saul Canelo Alvarez.
Dominant Pac-Man Ahead
Boxing 24 writer Francisco Gurrola believed Pacquiao is heading into another period where he's going to be really hard to defeat.
Top-Rank promotions has been grooming several young fighters for Pacquiao such as Crawford and Mikey Garcia, while veterans like Cotto and Marquez will always be in the mix.
However, Gurrola stressed that Pacquiao will dominate the competition later this year and in 2015 - the year where showdowns with several elite fighters are expected to take place.
"Now, Pacquiao, there has been talk of a Pacquiao vs. Juan Manul Marquez, Pacquiao vs. Terence Crawford, Pacquiao vs. Amir Khan, and Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto. Not so sure what will be the opponent here for him, but I am positive that whoever Pacquiao fights he will come out victorious," Gurrola stated.
What's Next For Pacquiao?
There are reports that Top-Rank has already offered a seven-figure deal to Algieri and his camp to fight Pacquiao in November at Venetian Macao in Macau, China.
Algieri recently won the WBO jr. welterweight title after edging Ruslan Provodnikov via split decision in their championship match last June. The 30-year old veteran expressed his desire to step up in the ring against Pacquiao, but many boxing analysts warned that this fight won't get much PPV buys because Algieri isn't a household name in the sport.
Whether or not he takes on Algieri, Pacquiao's 2015 should look brighter with a showdown against Floyd Mayweather looming. The Grand Rapids native has been teasing about a big surprise in May 2015, igniting debates among boxing fans about the realization of the long due rumble between him and Pacquiao.
If Mayweather continues to stay away, Pacquiao could take on the winner of Cotto vs. Canelo showdown for the WBC middleweight championship or accept a slugfest with Danny Garcia at light welterweight.
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