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Manny Pacquiao next fight: Would Victor Ortiz make sense?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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After losing to Floyd Mayweather in May and subsequently undergoing surgery for a torn rotator cuff, a very serious injury, will Manny Pacquiao engage in a tune-up for his return bout?

After all, Pacquiao will have been out of action for a year or more and no one knows what impact ring rust and a repaired shouldler will play.

Some insist Amir Khan is a potential next opponent for Manny but it might be wise to see how Pacquiao performs against a lesser opponent before throwing him in with a young, motivated top-notch fighter like Khan.

Will Pacquiao really face Khan next? If so, it'll be surprising.

After losing to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, Manny was out of the ring eleven months before he returned to face a quality but overmatched Brandon Rios. And even then Manny didn't have to deal with a surgically-repaired shoulder.

For his next fight, there would be no shame in Manny Pacquiao facing an opponent who is fairly marketable but limited against him stylistically.

Top fighters returning from long layoffs, losses or injury do it all of the time.

Given Pacquiao would be entering his next fight with all three of the aforementioned labels, why shouldn't he be given a pass to face an opponent deemed non-threatening?

Regardless of who he faces, if Pacquiao looks monstrous in his next bout, it would certainly help erase fans' disappointment over the Mayweather fight. Moreover, a dominant performance next spring would help generate added sizzle for a subsequent bout with Khan, Juan Manuel Marquez or Lucas Matthysse.

So who should Manny Pacquiao fight next?

Victor Ortiz (30-5-2, 23 KO) would be an interesting option if he reels off another win or two.

And before you trash the writer, consider this:

Ortiz has always been exciting inside the ring and charismatic outside it. He's also a popular, mainstream B-level celebrity of sorts who is hungry to revive his fledgling boxing career.

Pacquiao vs Ortiz would have some good storylines and Victor, because of his familiar name, would picque the interest of many casual fans.

And don't forget, Ortiz, who appeared in this year's box office smash Southpaw, defeated Floyd's next opponent, Andre Berto. 

And while a Pacquiao vs Ortiz bout wouldn't smash PPV records it may not exactly tank either because of the elements both fighters would bring. It wouldn't be surprising if Pacquiao vs Ortiz were somewhat comparable to Mayweather vs Berto in PPV buys.

And regardless of who Manny fights next, promoters will likely sell the 'Comeback of a Legend' as much, if not more, than the match-up itself.

How will Pacquiao look after being out of action for a year? Does he still have it? And is he any better with a repaired shoulder?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Most importantly, Ortiz, who was also cast in The Expendables 3, would serve as a barometer for Manny post-surgery and may answer some very important questions about the legend's health as well as his desire and ability to continue fighting at the sport's highest level.

Victor Ortiz Facts

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5'9"
  • Reach: 70"
  • Stance: Southpaw
  • Debut: 2004
  • KO Ratio: 62 percent
  • World Titles: WBC Welterweight
  • Accolades: 2008 ESPN.com Prospect of the Year

  • Most Significant Wins

    UD 12 Andre Berto - 2011
    Draw Lamont Peterson - 2010
    KO 3 Vivian Harris - 2010
    W12 Nate Campbell - 2010
    KO 1 Carlos Maussa - 2007
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