Now that Manny Pacquiao has silenced his critics by laying a beating on Antonio Margarito of Mexico to add the WBC Super Welterweight championship of the world to his WBO welterweight title, what’s next for the Filipino congressman and boxing sensation?
Well, he’s already won eight championships in eight different weight divisions and it’s very unlikely that he’ll be going for a ninth.
Pacquiao will probably come down to welterweight after taking on Margarito at a catch weight of 151 lbs. Of course, the fight everybody wants to see is between the Pac Man and undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0, 25 KOs). However, this battle may never see the light of day due to various reasons, the main one being Mayweather facing a possible prison sentence because of domestic violence charges.
There’s no point in Pacquiao waiting around for Mayweather’s court case, so the best thing for him to do is to take on Shane Mosley before the 39-year-old gets too long in the tooth to make this an interesting bout. Mosley and Pacquiao have some common opponents in Margarito, Miguel Cotto, and Oscar De la Hoya. Mosley finished off Margarito in the ninth round with a brutal knockout, beat De la Hoya twice on points and lost to Cotto by decision, so he’s definitely in Pacquiao’s league -- considering his record of 46-6-1 (39 KOs).
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Because Margarito took Pacquiao the distance, many boxing fans will see this as a viable matchup, and it is actually. It should make for an interesting bout between two of the top welterweights on the scene. Pacquiao could also take on an up-and-comer, but since he and Mosley both beat Margarito and De la Hoya, and because Mosley has been beaten by Mayweather, this should be a more interesting fight than taking on one of the young guns. In addition, Bernard Hopkins recently came out and said Pacquiao would have trouble against a good African-American fighter and Mosley’s one of the best around.
As for Margarito, We know for sure he’s entered the ring at least three times with legal hand wraps. These are the bouts against Mosley (the illegal wraps were caught just before the fight) and the contests against Roberto Garcia in May and Pacquiao. Margarito has lost two of these three fights and most fans are assuming he fought Cotto with illegal hand wraps.
This is because Margarito bust up Cotto’s face pretty good during their fight before knocking him out in the 11th round. It’d be fair to Cotto if they had a rematch -- there’ll always be doubt about whether Margarito’s hands were loaded or not.
While a loss to Cotto would even them up at one win each, it’s unlikely Margarito would get another fight against a top welterweight. It would be three straight losses against world-class opposition while fighting with legal hand wraps. But on the other hand, it’s a chance for Margarito to prove his KO over Cotto had nothing to do with his alleged cheating.