Manny Pacquiao was rejected by both Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley in recent negotiations, so he’ll most likely have to settle for either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios in his next bout. While opinions on this will obviously vary, it sure does seem like he’s in a win-win situation right now.
There is obviously pressure on the 34-year-old former champ to redeem himself after back-to-back defeats, but he has far less to lose against Alvarado and Rios than he would against his first two options.
If Pacquiao had lost to Marquez or Bradley again, that would have been a referendum on his legacy. People would legitimately make the claim that he wasn’t better than one or both of them. Contrast that with what will happen if loses to Alvarado or Rios: Nothing. If he falls to either of those guys, people will simply say he’s washed up and that he should retire. His total wins lead against Marquez will remain intact; people will still consider Bradley’s victory over him BS.
Meanwhile, if Pacquiao manages to beat either Alvarado or Rios, that will pump a whole lot of life into his career. Both are arguably better at this point in the game than Marquez and Bradley (presuming the latter goes back to his old way of fighting), so victories against them would actually mean a lot more.
Plus, since Pacquiao is the big name draw, he will do well financially regardless of who he fights. Ideally, he’ll take on Alvarado and not Rios. The latter is hungry for redemption after his most recent fight, he’s younger and he has a chin made of stone. Alvarado, although a great fighter, has some more exploitable weaknesses.
Either way, though – it seems like Pacquiao has found himself in a very good situation right now.