During his 18-year career, Manny Pacquiao had never lost two straight fights.
Now the 34-year-old must decide if he wants to rectify the controversial decision that cost him the WBO Welterweight title, or avenge the debilitating knockout punch that left him unconscious in Las Vegas and had some experts questioning his role among the all-time greats.
The former fight was with American Timothy Bradley, and the latter Juan Manuel Marquez, but who he faces next comes down to the Pac-Man's campaign schedule, and if Marquez even wants a fifth fight.
The Filipino star is reportedly targeting September for his next match, and that could take place in Macau, China, according to the Manila Standard.
The Standard also reported that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum considers Macau the ideal venue for Pacquaio as he runs for another term as congressman.
“Macau seems to be it, according to Bob Arum,” Pacquaio adviser Michael Koncz told the Standard. “Unless there is a deal set with the venue regardless of who the opponent is, I don’t see Manny having time to go to Macau in the middle of an election.”
Pac-Man, and reportedly Marquez, could even attend bouts in Macau in April to discuss their next fights with Arum, in a report from the Philippine Star.
The biggest draw might still be Marquez. Pacquiao defeated Marquez in each of their three previous fights, but a devastating straight right jab dropped him to the ground in the sixth round back in December. That fight drew more than one million pay-per-view sales.
Bradley escaped Russian Ruslan Provodnikov with a unanimous decision on Saturday. The undefeated WBO welterweight champion survived a first round knockdown, and appeared wobbly at times, but completed his first title defense.
Pacquaio could attempt to regain his title belt from Bradley, and then focus on Marquez.
However, the Mexican welterweight was reportedly waiting to see the outcome of Bradley’s fight, and the matchup between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado, who meet on March 30 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Prior to those losses, Pacquaio hadn’t lost a match in nearly seven years, and has a 54-5-2 record with 31 knockouts.