MANILA, Philippines – There are still plenty of fights left for Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao should he succeed against Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios this November, according to an ESPN analyst.
Pacquiao will return to the ring on November 24 against Rios in Macau, in what will be his first fight since being knocked out by rival Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
In a Sports Nation chat, ESPN’s Brian Campbell said there are still some fighters on Top Rank’s roster that Pacquiao could face if he beats Rios.
“I hear a lot of people saying that Manny has no one left to fight and, at least for me, I couldn’t disagree more,” he said. “A Rios fight is appointment viewing, and is going to be a war. I’d love to see him a fifth time against Marquez, or in a showdown with (Mike) Alvarado.”
Campbell said he will even watch a rematch between Pacquiao and unbeaten American Timothy Bradley, who defeated the Filipino icon via a controversial split decision in June 2012.
“The combination of Bradley becoming more of an action fighter and Pacquiao potentially slipping just a bit could make their rematch compelling,” Campbell said.
“Top Rank’s cupboard in that coveted 140-147 area (the light welterweight and welterweight divisions) is definitely small, but the fact there’s five guys who could all fight each other a few times makes things interesting,” he added.
What Campbell knows for sure is that a bout between Pacquiao and Argentine fighter Lucas Matthysse is highly unlikely, as Matthysse is handled by promotional rival Golden Boy.
Matthysse is the latest hot commodity in boxing after his sensational knockout of Lamont Peterson, and Campbell said a “mythical” bout between Matthysse and Pacquiao in his prime would be “absolutely ridiculous.”
“They are the exact same height. I favor prime Pacquiao and think he wins, but he would have to endure a war unlike any he has been in,” Campbell said.