Pacquiao, Donaire to face new foes in return bouts
SINGAPORE – Boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and superstar Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire suffered recent setbacks against adept counterpunchers who were unwilling to engage, but instead of pursuing rematches with their conquerors, both fighters are now looking to stir things up by facing new opposition.
Just last weekend, Donaire dropped a wide Unanimous Decision to 2-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux in a highly technical, uneventful bout. Donaire ended up surrendering his WBO Super Bantamweight title and his RING Magazine lineal title with the loss.
Pacquiao’s last fight in December of last year saw him brutally knocked unconscious via a right-hand counter delivered by long-time nemesis, Juan Manuel “Dinamata” Marquez in the fourth installment of their epic rivalry.
Though there is a great public demand for Pacquiao to face Marquez again for the 5th time, and for Donaire to exact revenge on the cocky Rigondeaux, Hall-of-Fame promoter Bob Arum has other plans, none of which involve immediate rematches.
Donaire looking to move up
Nonito Donaire was awfully out-boxed by a more skillful opponent, plain and simple and an immediate rematch would most likely yield the same results. Claiming difficulty in cutting down to the Super Bantamweight limit, it looks as if Donaire will be making that move to Featherweight after all.
One opponent on Team Donaire’s radar is former Featherweight champion Juan Manuel “JuanMa” Lopez of Puerto Rico, who is on the comeback trail after suffering two knockout losses to Mexican, Orlando Salido. Lopez was once considered the crème of the crop at 126 lbs., but due to his setbacks, is now reduced to journeyman status.
Lopez, who like Donaire is promoted by Top Rank, is a perfect opponent for Donaire in his first foray into the Featherweight division – a class which includes fighters like Abner Mares, Mikey Garcia, Chris John and Salido.
As such, Donaire would already hold a speed and technical advantage over the one-dimensional, come-forward fighter that Lopez is, which makes the Puerto Rican extremely attractive for Donaire when considering a comeback fight later this year.
As previously stated however, Donaire will be taking a break from competition as he awaits his first-born child with wife Rachel, who is due sometime in July. Nothing is set in stone just yet so expect no decisions on his career until after.
Pacquiao returns to action
People thought a fourth fight against Marquez was pointless, and that the two pugilists would not be able to replicate the action that made their previous three meetings compelling, yet what did they do? They put on the show of their lives with their best performances to date.
Pacquiao’s knockout loss to Marquez, which left him motionless and in another world for a few minutes on the canvas, raises questions about how he will be able to bounce back after such a terrible defeat. Initially, Pacquiao was eyeing an April 2013 return but experts heavily advised against it. Pacquiao wants Marquez back on the table and is itching to get his revenge, but if recent rumors are true, he may not get a crack at the Mexican superstar just yet.
Marquez is rumored to be asking for close to a guaranteed $20M dollars to face Pacquiao again in a fifth fight, which is substantially more than what he received for the last one which was south of $10M. Marquez feels he has the right to demand the lion’s share of the pot given that he emerged victorious in their last bout and has thusly raised his stock.
If this is true, then Marquez may be trying to price himself out of a Pacquiao fight, hoping to instead land a fight with Timothy Bradley, who he publicly admitted he wanted to be his next opponent.
Pacman in Asia
If Marquez is not available for a rematch in the final quarter of the year, Pacquiao has several options, one of which is rumored to be a done deal. Bob Arum is finalizing a deal which puts Pacquiao in the ring with Mike “Mile High” Alvarado, who recently defeated Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios just last month in an early Fight of the Year candidate.
Arum hopes to bring the next Pacquiao fight to bustling Asian cities in either Singapore or Macau.
In the meanwhile, Alvarado seems like a good choice for Pacquiao’s return bout. Alvarado brings an in-your-face, come-forward style, with less than average technical ability – which presumably is just what Pacquiao needs right now. He’ll bring the fight right to Pacquiao which will undoubtedly result in a fan-friendly scrap for however long it lasts.
Filipino fighters have not fared well recently with three world champions in Pacquiao, Donaire and Viloria all losing their respective bouts over the last few months.
All three are expected to fully recover and be back in the mix by the end of the year. - Rappler.com