Manny Pacquiao's next fight will come on October 13, likely in Macau, and Ronnie Nathanielsz reports that he's got two potential opponents: Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios.
A week ago, it was reported that Alvarado (34-1, 23 KO) was the leading candidate to face Pacquiao, when both Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley appeared out of the running, and a fight between those two is close to done for September 14 in Las Vegas.
Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO) is also still a potentially attractive foe, though Alvarado won a decision against him on March 30 in a rematch of their 2012 Fight of the Year contender, which Rios won by stoppage.
Which fight is the better option, and perhaps just as important, which opponent will be easier to secure? We know that Rios wants a fight with Pacquiao, as he was supposedly going to face Manny in the spring, before Pacquiao was knocked out by Marquez last December.
Alvarado surely wants the fight, too, and I'd heard last week that it was a relatively done deal, with Alvarado's team heading to Vegas for negotiations. He's the hotter fighter, with the win and all, but I don't think it would be hard to sell boxing fans on tuning in for Pacquiao-Rios, either.
And also, let's be clear here: They're going to want Manny Pacquiao to win in October. There's still some money left to juice from his career -- a lot of it -- and his dropping a third straight fight would be a disaster. Yes, the Bradley fight was a bogus decision, and yes Marquez is great, but you still don't want a name fighter working on three straight losses. Pacquiao would be the favorite against either Alvarado or Rios, but he'll be two months away from turning 35 when he returns, and time catches up to everyone eventually.
I'm guessing most of you would prefer Alvarado, but would anyone just rather see Pacquiao-Rios than Pacquiao-Alvarado?