Pacquiao could potentially be going up against the winner of Cotto-Martinez bout.

By Daven: Following his dominant victory over Tim Bradley in April, there has been many names touted around in regards to Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent. The usual suspects such as Marquez, Alvarado, Ruslan Provodnikov and Mikey Garcia have all been floated. However over the weekend a source close to Bob Arum leaked the names of Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez. If the fight was to take place it would be for the WBC middleweight championship, amazingly this would present Manny the chance of acquiring a ninth divisional world title belt.

Although, as of now nothing has been finalized, a fight featuring Pacquiao-Martinez or a rematch with Cotto would be a big seller. Moreover it would be truly fascinating to see, especially if it ends up being Martinez-Pacquiao owing to Sergio’s far superior height in contrast to Pacquiao. Naturally any potential fight for the WBC belt for Manny would have to be at a catch-weight of around 155lbs.

This is the only way the fight will happen, Pacquiao is permitted to demand that the fight be a catch-weight considering he’d be the star attraction. Hence his involvement would ensure Martinez or Cotto would pick up a cheque north of $10,000,000.

I must stress this news is just speculation as of now but it offers hope to true boxing fans who simply don’t want to see Manny fight Marquez again or an average fighter like Rios again or an Alverado. Particularly, the notion of Martinez and Pacquiao sharing the ring would surely evoke unbridled passion for this sport once more. After all boxing used to be chiefly about fighters pushing themselves to fight for the prestigious world titles at higher weight classes, not fighting easy opponents for big money. Pacquiao can not be accused of taking easy fights in his career, he’s been the underdog time and time again especially whilst at lightweight where he fought Barrera, Morales and Marquez on multiple occasions. Thus there is credibility in the rumour of the Filipino sensation battling it out for the WBC middleweight championship.

With Manny’s contract with Top Rank expiring this year, some might argue that Arum would want to put Pacquiao in a “No-win fight” to punish him for leaving. Whilst Pac-man has publicly claimed he will sign an extension under Arum’s banner, the reality is he is yet do so. Now, Arum being the prudent promoter he is realizes that Pacquiao, his most valuable commodity could leave after one more fight to become a free agent, or worse join Golden Boy. Accordingly he will want to ensure the Filipino’s value dwindles rather than elevates in his last fight, hence matching him with a Sergio Martinez puts Pac-man at a massive disadvantage even at 152lbs. Should Manny lose, Arum can re-sign him for a rematch thus reaping the rewards of his matchmaking.

All in all I’d love to see Pacquiao go up against Martinez for the WBC belt, it would bring romance back to a dying sport. I can’t see Cotto overcoming Martinez so there wouldn’t be any conflict for Freddie Roach who now trains the Puerto Rican. Whilst many of you may doubt that Pacquiao versus Martinez will happen, you need to remember that Pacquiao loves proving people wrong and he loves winning belts at higher weight classes. Recently Freddie Roach said he’s like his prized asset to go back to 140lbs so he can get more knock-outs, personally I don’t think this is plausible at all due to the lack of big names at 140lbs. In contrast the middleweight division is stacked with big names and talented fighter, none of them are greater than Sergio Martinez as far as longevity in the sport is concerned.


by The Official Manny Pacquiao Website

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