Tough cast of possible Manny Pacquiao foes

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MANILA -- Apart from Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez, there are other marquee boxers who could have a shot at Manny Pacquiao in November.


Heading the list are Shawn Porter and Ruslan Provodnikov, two former sparring partners of Pacquiao who have become world champion themselves, hard-hitting Britons Amir Khan and Kell Brooks and former world titleholder Adrien Broner.

Without a doubt, the cast of would-be challengers looks attractive enough for pay-per-view coverage.

The unbeaten Porter, who helped Pacquiao sharpen up for Miguel Cotto in 2009, knocked out Paulie Malignaggi Saturday night in Washington, DC, to retain his International Boxing Federation welterweight crown.

The rugged Provodnikov, who provided Pacquiao with tough workouts in his first fight against Timothy Bradley in 2012, now reigns as the World Boxing Organization light welterweight champion.


The 27-year-old Brooks (32-0 with 22 KOs) is ranked No. 1 welterweight in Britain and No. 5 in the world.

Khan, whose main drawback is a glassy chin, is familiar with Pacquiao’s style having sparred with the Filipino ring icon at Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

Marquez, though, is still the most attractive bet following the sixth-round knockout he dealt Pacquiao on Dec. 8, 2012 in Las Vegas.

Marquez, who initially balked at fighting Pacquiao for the fifth time, needs to beat Mike Alvarado on May 17 to get the nod of promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank as Pacquiao’s next opponent.

Both Marquez and Alvarado are with Top Rank and so is Provodnikov, giving them the edge in the Pacquiao derby.

Brooks is with Golden Boy Promotions while Khan has signed up with Al Haymon.