By: Hans Themistode
At the age of 41, most are preoccupied with phone calls from the AARP. But for WBA titlist Manny Pacquaio on the other hand, the only time his phone rings is for a fight.
The soon to be 42 year old has an endless line of contenders that have continually called him out at every turn. Names such as WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford, unified champion Errol Spence Jr. and former four division belt holder Mikey Garcia remain at the top of his list for his next ring appearance.
With a win over Keith Thurman in July of 2019, Pacquaio remains on a COVID-19 induced hiatus. The deadly disease has made it nearly impossible to determine when he’ll enter the ring again, but with rumors of the Filipino native wanting to move up in weight, he made sure to squash the murmurs.
“As long as it is at 147 pounds,” said Pacquiao during a recent interview with the Manila Times. “I am ok with that. But if it’s above that, it’s too big for me.”
With world titles in eight separate weight divisions, Pacquiao knows a thing or two about fighting a bigger man. However, when head trainer Freddie Roach mentioned a possible move to 160 pounds to face one of the biggest hitters in boxing history, many gave him an incredulous look.
“One thing about Manny, he doesn’t wanna beat just anybody,” said Roach to DAZN’s Chris Mannix a few month’s ago. “He wants to fight the top guys. Mikey Garcia called him out a couple times; I think that’s a good fight for him, of course. Robert (Garcia, Mikey’s brother and trainer) called him out on one of your shows. It made me smile, because I like that fight for Manny, I think it’s a great fight.”
“But the thing is, Manny might wanna go a little bit higher. He might want to fight GGG or one of those guys who’s supposed to be the best in the world. For Pacquiao the desire is still to be the best there is.”
If by some chance the two were to face each other in the ring, Pacquiao would walk into that matchup with a five inch height and three inch reach disadvantage. Significant, but nothing he hasn’t seen before.
A decade ago in 2010, Pacquiao found himself in an even bigger disadvantageous contest against Antonio Margarito. Yet, the hard hitting Mexican native could seldom use his six inch height and reach advantage as Pacquiao schooled him for 12 rounds.
Despite his great experience when moving up to take on a bigger man, the 41 year old Pacquiao doesn’t seem interested in fighting in the land of 160 pounds.
“I did not really have a hard time then. But he was too big,” said Pacquiao referring to his matchup with Margarito. “I don’t want to do that anymore.”
Fighting at 160 might be asking too much of a fighter who routinely walks around at 140 pounds. With that being said, if Golovkin we’re willing to drop down to 154 pounds however, that could get the ball rolling.
“154 pounds? It depends I guess, but there’s no negotiations right now.”