Boxing Superstars - Who is Next for Manny Pacquiao?

 By: Peri Witny
I can't remember the first boxing fight that I watched on tv, but I do recall watching most of the fights of Muhammad Ali, George Frazier, Joe Foreman, Leon Spinks inthe heavyweight division; of Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard in the middleweight class during the prime of their careers. I remember the feeling that one experiences when watching a fight, the excitement that courses through your body, the tension in the air, and the overwhelming joy when the fighter you root for seems to be losing only to win when he knocks out his opponent with a lucky punch or when a boxer win by a split decision. Those were the golden days of boxing.

Presently though, the sport is in need of resucitation. The premier heavyweight division does not have an establish name that can draw in the crowds in the way Mike Tyson in his prime did. Oscar de la Hoya, he of the good looks and good boxing skills enough to win him an Olympic gold during his amateur years, was the big drawer for the lighter weights division but he too got distracted by the glitter that goes with being famous. Enter a small fighter who packed tremendous power in both fists and amazing speed and who hails from a country who do produce world champion boxers in the lighter weights, Manny Pacquiao.

He is a real rags to reaches story and his present success as the most bankable boxer in the lighter weights at present has inspired some of his countrymen to take up boxing as a sport in the hopes that they shall also achieve Pacquiao's success as means to leave their life of poverty. And all aspiring boxers who dream of that one fight that shall give them a big payday have lined up on Pacquiao's door, hoping to get that chance. And after he convincingly beat de la Hoya via a TKO during their fight last December, the line may get longer.

Two of the most talked about names to be the next in line for a boxing match against Manny are Ricky Hatton of the United Kingdom and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of the U.S., who until his retirement was considered to be the best boxer pound for pound. Hatton has the inside track. But the champ seems to like to box against Mayweather, as stated by Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach. Latest boxing reports are saying that the fight against Hatton might not push through as both parties can't seem to agree on the purses each shall receive from the fight. If its not Mayweather and not Hatton, who shall it be then?

Whoever ends up to be Pacquiao's opponent, I hope for Manny's continued success. Whenever he goes to the ring, a country which has such a diverse culture and people as the Philippines suddenly unite and even for just a day, forget their worries and problems as they watch their countryman fight for a nation's glory.
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