Every Manny Pacquiao fight follows the same storyline these days. Last night’s Manny Pacquiao fight was no different, as Antonio Margarito was the latest to be steamrolled by him. Although Margarito had the height and weight advantage, there was nothing he could really do against the faster champion. Like so many others before him, Margarito was left helpless, and was never really in the bout. But the latest Pacquiao fight followed the same formula on and off the ring, as the usual questions were raised afterward.
After every lopsided win, Pacquiao is asked anew what his future will be. Within seconds, those questions usually involve Floyd Mayweather, and whether their superfight will ever get off the ground. However, a deeper question is whether he will have another opponent at all in the future.
Some are speculating that the latest Pacquiao fight will be his last, as he has very little to prove anymore. He is already the first boxer to win eight belts, in eight different divisions, and is generally regarded as the world’s best fighter. The only thing that would more definitively prove it is fighting Mayweather, but that possibility has become more remote.
The champion already has another career in the works, as he was elected to Congress in the Philippines. He is so beloved by his native country, that they don’t mind him juggling two careers at once. But if fighting Mayweather isn’t the next step in his boxing career, there isn’t much reason to keep it going.
According to promoter Bob Arum, the next fight won’t involve anyone from his Top Rank collection. The likes of Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Devon Alexander have been proposed, but all of them would be heavy underdogs. The public wants nothing less than a showdown with Mayweather, yet they are all but resigned that it won’t happen.
Unless it happens, the rest of Pacquiao’s career will be considered a final victory lap, since no one else seems set to really challenge him. Margarito could have put up a fight years ago, but this was just his second bout after being suspended for a whole year.
Even if Margarito was at full strength and in his prime, he might have only done marginally better. It was impossible for him to do worse in the Manny Pacquiao fight, as he lost every round and nearly had both eyes closed.
That kind of systematic destruction is a Pacquiao trademark, but fans may or may not see it for much longer. If they do, and it isn’t against Mayweather, there will still be a lingering doubt of what could have been.
For now, Pacquiao is celebrating another lopsided win, like always – and will now be hounded with questions over his next fight, like always.
Bleacher Report- “Manny Pacquiao: Could He Retire After Crushing Antonio Margarito?”
Boxing Scene- “Arum: Pacquiao’s Next Foe Likely a ‘Non-Top Rank Fighter”