BARRERRA  NEXT  LOGICAL  CHOICE  FOR  PACQUIAO

MANILA, January 26, 2006
(MALAYA) WITH Erik Morales likely to shun a third fight with Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino ring hero may soon ultimately fight reigning World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation super featherweight champion Marco Antonio Barrera.

Another fighter waiting in the wings is Barrera’s fellow Mexican, Juan Manuel Marquez, who forced a draw with Pacquiao despite being knocked down thrice in the first round of their 126-pound duel in 2004. It is doubtful, however, whether Marquez would like to fight above the 126-pound limit.

Pacquiao, who scored a 10th-round technical knockout over Morales last Saturday in a WBC eliminator at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, is expected to chase more glamorous fights and bigger prizes, according to Dino Alvarado of the website eastsideboxing.com.

Marquez is making a measly $31,250 in his bout with WBA titlist Chris John later this month in Indonesia, according to Alvarado. Pacquiao earned $2 million in his rematch with Morales.

Alvarado said a Pacquiao-Marquez rematch is unlikely to happen because "not only would it be pretty risky, but there wouldn’t be much money in it either because, unfortunately, Marquez remains unknown to the average boxing fan."

Pacquiao has been without a world title for over two years now and is expected to set his sights on a big name and steal the spotlight.

The lefty from Gen. Santos City recently said he is ready to face anyone at 130 pounds, leaving Barrera as the top choice.

Monetary reasons aside, a rematch with Marquez could be a tantalizing idea since Pacquiao may want to prove something after a disappointing first encounter for the WBA and IBF titles. The Mexican recovered from a tough first round, where he was thrice knocked down, to force a controversial draw with Pacquiao in their fight at 126 pounds.

A win over Marquez would complete a Pacquiao sweep of the three well-respected Mexican sluggers.

Alvarado further wrote: "So it comes down to this for Manny Pacquiao: Does he want money or history? It’ll take versatility and good planning to beat Marquez, so such a win would certainly help his legacy. On the other side, Barrera’s a big name, and a big win over a big name equals big money."


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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