By: Hans Themistode
Manny Pacquiao has made a career out of fighting in multiple divisions. Throughout the entire history of boxing, the Philippine legend is the only man to win titles in eight weight classes. At the age of 41 though, he could have his eyes set on a ninth.
According to longtime Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, his man has been linked to a possible showdown with four division world champion Mikey Garcia. The interest from Roach’s side is evident. “I like that fight,” said Roach during a recent interview with Chris Mannix from DAZN. But a matchup with Garcia would seem to leave Pacquiao in the same position he was in before they stepped into the ring against one another. Meaning, a win over Garcia would do little to bolster his already all-time great resume.
There isn’t much Pacquiao can do at this point to add the cherry on top of his hall of fame career. But there is one fight out there that is currently being floated around that could take Pacquiao’s historic career to another level.
“Manny might want to go a little bit higher and fight GGG (Gennadiy Golovkin) or one of those guys who’s supposed to be the best. I would not advise him to go to 160 pounds, no. That would be a little crazy. But putting him at 147 was a risk at one time … and it worked out really good for us. One thing about Manny, he doesn’t just want to beat anybody. He wants to beat the best out there. He wants to fight the top guys.”
Risks have been the foundation that Pacquiao has built his career on. But that aforementioned risk would turn into sheer stupidity if he were to move up two weight classes to take on GGG according to promoter Bob Arum.
“It’s a stupid fight,” Arum told Sportsmail. “I know Golovkin appears to be over the hill, but it’s a fight that could be very dangerous for Pacquiao. He isn’t even a welterweight really let alone a middleweight. His best fighting weight is 140, at 147 I think he’s pretty much outsized by all the good welterweights.”
Arum has always had a sweet spot for Pacquiao. He managed the future fall of famer for over 13 years and the two formed a great relationship. But not only does Arum believe that moving up two weight divisions to face GGG incredibly dumb, but he also believes that Pacquiao has more work to do in his current weight class.
“I know he fought Keith Thurman, who had lost his desire to fight and had been out so long, but he would have a real test against Terence Crawford or Errol Spence, guys like that. Maybe he could beat them, I don’t know. He thinks he can, but to go up any higher would be silly.”
At the moment, a fight with GGG seems to be extraneous. Instead, a showdown with WBO titlist Terence Crawford could be next on the WBA champions plate. But before fans of the sport can high five one another and plan fight parties however, there are still a few stumbling blocks.
“It’s difficult because everywhere is on lockdown right now. This is a fight that we aren’t even thinking about doing on US soil. There’s a few places in the Middle East that certainly have the funds to stage a big fight, and certainly many would be willing to do it, but not in these circumstances. It’s no good talking to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain or Kolkata until they get a better handle on this coronavirus. Once the picture becomes clearer we can start to work things out. Manny is very interested in fighting Crawford. But someone has got to put up the money and there’s got to be a site.”