Manny Pacquiao: Next fight should be tune-up

Lee Cleveland Updated
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When boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao climbs in the ring again, will he face another elite-level fighter such as Amir Khan, Juan Manuel Marquez or Terence Crawford?

Is a rematch with Floyd Mayweather still in the offing for Manny's return match?

(Image courtesy of HBO)

According to Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, they aren't seeking tune-ups.

When asked about the caliber of opponent Manny will face after his shoulder heals, Roach told the esteemed Michael Woods of

“Nah, right back in the deep water...I think he’s got a couple fights left in him.”

Perhaps Roach is over-dramatizing a bit? If so, it certainly wouldn't be the first time.

When or if Pacquiao fights again, he will be 37 and will have been out of action 11 months or a year or more. Moreover, it will be his first bout since surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff, an injury of consequence.

Secondly, given his loss to Floyd and PacMan's reduced stock following the disappointing fight and Manny's subsequent admission of injury, Team Pacquiao will more likely opt for a showcase in order to convince the masses he's back in top form and ferocious as ever.

Don't believe the hype about Pacquiao facing a peer-level opponent next. That stated, on Manny's level, even a 'tune-up' opponent is still a highly-ranked or fairly accomplished pro.

Manny's return match will be a must-see event because he's a star and everyone will want to see how he performs following rehab and the long layoff. As a result, his pay will likely be on par with the purse from his November 2014 bout with Chris Algieri.

Look for him to face a foe who is fairly marketable but may have vulnerabilities as they relate to Pacquaio's style. If Pacquiao performs well, we should then turn our attention to Juan Manuel Marquez, Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan or even Floyd Mayweather.

A lot can change from now until April/May 2016 but, at this moment, leading candidates for Manny Pacquiao's next fight might include, from jr welterweight to welterweight, Zab Judah, Mike Alvarado, Luis Collazo, Raymundo Beltran and Hank Lundy.

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