Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will dominate the boxing world this year, earning his fourth Fighter of the Year plum of his legendary career, according to ESPN Boxing analyst Brian Campbell.
Pacquiao, who previously captured the Fighter of the Year award in 2006, 2008 and 2009, could be on his way to bagging another award, if he proves he has finally recovered from a devastating sixth round KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez over a year ago.
The Pacman is fresh from a 12-round domination of Brandon Rios on Nov 23 at Venetian Macau in Macau, China and is set to make his 2014 debut against either WBO Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley or former sparring partner and reigning WBO Jr. Welterweight king Ruslan Provodnikov in April.
Several boxing analyst has already ruled out the 35-year old Pacquiao as a major player boxing the moment he absorb such brutal defeat at the hands of Marquez. However, Campbell thinks the former eight division world champion will come up big this year.
"I think the 2014 fighter of the year will end up being Pacquiao, though, if I had to throw a guess out there. I think he has a shot at bouncing back huge," Campbell said during a chat session on ESPN Sports Nation.
What's Next for the Pacman
Due to Bradley's inability to draw solid Pay-per-View results, Pacquiao appears headed into a slugfest with pound-for-pound rising star Ruslan Provodnikov in his April fight date.
Provodnikov, who engaged in a toe-to-toe battle with Bradley in June and followed it up with a 10th round TKO victory against Mike Alvarado in October, is expected to give Pacquiao a hell of a fight because of his incredible resiliency and super-strong chin.
Top-Rank head honcho Bob Arum confirmed that Provodnikov is the leading candidate to face Pacquiao, while he also downplayed recent reports of a Mayweeather Jr. vs. Pacquiao showdown in September 2014.
"You're going to get reports like this from time to time, but unless it comes from us or Manny, it has absolutely no substance Well I don't want to debate the whole history. There's so many ins and outs. I hope that this fight can happen, but nothing has moved ahead about this fight. We're planning a fight for Manny in April and Mayweather is planning a fight in May," Arum told Brad Cooney of 8Counts News.
Will Manny Pacquiao regain his old place as the pound-for-pound king? Only time would tell.
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