Will Pacquiao choose degree of difficulty?
It’s now officially a lottery: this mad race among a few candidates to make it as world welterweight boxing king Manny Pacquiao’s next foe.
There was actually a total of three names in the running—Tim Bradley, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez—and that was already a crowd.
But now, they can no longer continue referring to the lineup as a short list.
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When Freddie Roach was asked the other day who he thought should be Pacquiao’s next rightful challenger, he ticked off one unfamiliar name.
“Why Peterson?” asked the stunned interviewer.
“Why not?” Roach snorted.
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Of course, four is already a crowd in this exacting search for Pacquiao’s most suitable foe.
Bradley, Cottto, Marquez—not necessarily in that order—all boast strong credentials.
In Peterson’s case, several experts were quick to suspect that Roach’s main motivation for including him on the list was revenge.
It was Peterson who upset world junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan, a Roach favorite whom the multiawarded trainer had tagged as heir apparent to the Pacman.
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It was not a wholly conquering win Peterson scored over Khan, who himself had obviously been overhyped.
Objective observers believe the champ could’ve not been dethroned were it not for the questioned point deductions slapped by the referee on Khan, who has since hankered desperately for a rematch.
That said, Peterson readily stands out as the easiest among Pacquiao’s next possible foes.
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Truth is that a resounding win over the hitherto unheralded Peterson cannot help prop up Pacquiao’s worth and popularity to where it was prior to the woeful majority decision win over Marquez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas early last month.
Going by the degree of ease, Bradley—a powerful but otherwise easy target—comes next to Peterson.
Then, the choice in the lottery inevitably shifts to the degree of difficulty.
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There’s Miguel Cotto proudly presenting himself as the worthiest among possible Pacquiao challengers.
He scored a blood-splattered, vengeful win over Antonio Margarito, a Pacquiao victim like Cotto himself.
Cotto may have some valid points, claiming resurgence after that low point when he had to be helped on his feet on the way out of the venue following the gory stoppage he suffered against Pacquiao.
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It’s like this. Cotto may indeed have recovered from that momentary devastation, but would he have the heart and knees to stand up to the thunderous fury Pacquiao could unleash in case of a rematch?
The determining needle therefore points to only one man, the worthiest in the
Pacquiao lottery: Juan Manuel Marquez.
It’s only Marquez who can bring back Pacquiao to where he was in the hearts and minds of adoring fans.
The question: Will Pacquiao opt for an exacting degree of difficulty when there are other easy floor routines in the lineup? Bob Arum should also guide Pacquiao in making a choice.