Manny Pacquaio Not Likely To Return Without Fans In Attendance
By: Hans Themistode
Empty seats and mundane atmospheres have become the new norm in boxing venues.
Much like every other sport, boxing has been forced to place tarps over their now empty seats due to COVID-19.
But the new scene in boxing, hasn’t stopped high profile fighters from entering the ring. Just this past weekend both Jermell and Jermall Charlo headlined their own crowd less main event in Uncasville Connecticut. Roughly one month from now, more heavy hitters in Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz, Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko are all set to perform with nothing more then the sound of their cornermen screaming instructions in the background.
More of boxings finest are still awaiting their dates as well. Not amongst them however, is current WBA welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao.
Unlike other fighters who acquiesced to a pay cut due to the pandemic, Pacquiao has way too much cache to even consider performing for a reduction in purse or without screaming fans.
“Logic would tell you that with the kind of money the senator is going to command for any fight he takes, there would have to be some fans in the stands,” said head of Pacquiao Promotions, Sean Gibbons to Yahoo Sports. “It’s the same with [Deontay] Wilder and [Tyson] Fury and Anthony Joshua. You need crowds to generate the kind of money it takes to put on an event like that.”
The names rattled off by Gibbons, ironically enough, are all believed to have no issue performing in front of no fans.
Joshua is set to defend his heavyweight titles sometime in July against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev without a single soul in attendance. Fury and Wilder, on the other hand, are targeting a date in December with reportedly little to no fans at all.
Still, with those aforementioned fighters still carving out their legacies, the cement on Pacquaio’s has long dried.
“The Senator is long past the point of having to prove anything. He’s in his 26th year and with what he’s done, it’s enough to get him in the Hall of Fame 10 times over. He wants to give the fans what they want.”
If by some chance fans are able to attend Pacquiao’s next foray into the ring, there are countless names that he could find himself matched up against. But while most would love to see how he stacks up against WBO titlist Terence Crawford or unified champion Errol Spence Jr., Gibbons views a victory over any of the top names in the welterweight division as icing on an already perfect cake.
“Let’s be honest, here: At this stage, there is nothing he could do to top what he’s already done. What does it mean to him now to beat the best welterweights out there? Been there, done that. At this point, Manny is on a sort of a victory lap, and he’ll let the fans speak and then make a decision.”
Mikey Garcia: “Manny Pacquiao’s Next Fight Is With Me, 100%.”
By: Hans Themistode
Early last week, UFC star Conor McGregor made serious headlines when he announced that he would be taking on WBA welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao in his next ring contest.
McGregor, 32, hasn’t laced up a pair of gloves since his 10th round stoppage loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2017. Despite his hiatus from the ring and his lack of success in the UFC’s octagon, losing via rear naked choke to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 and winning by knockout against the long faded Donald Cerrone in 2020, he now finds himself on the verge of facing the only eight division world champion that boxing has ever seen in Pacquiao.
“I’m boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East,” said McGregor on his social media account. “It will be a true honour to have faced two of the greatest boxers of the modern era.”
Pacquiao on the other hand, has been dead silent. But with his special assistant in Jayke Joson jumping up to confirm McGregor’s announcement, there could be some validity behind it.
“For the sake of all the Filipino COVID-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year,” said Pacquiao’s special assistant Jayke Joson. “The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic.”
While fans of McGregor are jumping for joy over the news, one man who isn’t amused is Mikey Garcia. The former four division world champion has been chasing a fight with Pacquiao for years. Following a one sided win in his last contest against former two division belt holder in Jessie Vargas, Garcia found himself in the driver seat of a Pacquiao clash and he isn’t about to let someone from an entirely different sport skip the line.
“McGregor has to take a number. Manny Pacquiao’s next fight is with me, 100%.”
At the moment, the sports landscape is difficult to predict. With fighters becoming less active due to COVID-19, it’s almost impossible to pencil in a date for anyone. Ironically enough, Garcia couldn’t lock in a date for his Pacquiao clash either. But he did give a rough guess as to when fans can expect it to go down.
“I think it will be sometime in 2021.”
Shawn Porter Still Searching For A Showdown With Manny Pacquiao: “I’m Confident That I Would Beat Him In A Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
The unveiling of Shawn Porter’s opponent this upcoming weekend was disappointing to most.
After spending four years taking on some of the welterweight divisions best in Errol Spence Jr, Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Andre Berto — Porter’s upcoming matchup against the unheralded Sebastian Formella left plenty to be desired.
Through 22 career fights, Formella managed to pick up wins every single time he stepped into the ring. But the squared circle will feel somewhat different as he will be making his U.S debut.
When Porter looks to the left, he notices that both of his former opponents in Garcia and Spence Jr. are set to square off in November. When he looks to the right, talks between Thurman and current WBO belt holder Terence Crawford have intensified. Even when he looks straight ahead to his matchup with Formella, Porter notices Sergey Lipinets vs Kudratillo Abdukakhorov for the interim IBF title in his peripheral vision.
Meanwhile, Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs) is stuck facing a virtual unknown.
While he isn’t overlooking his opponent this upcoming weekend, Porter does wish a certain eight division world champion would pick up the phone and give him a call.
“That’s on Manny and his team,” said Porter to FightHype when asked about a possible Manny Pacquiao fight. “He’s earned the right to do what he wants to do.”
With Pacquiao seemingly more interested in facing either Crawford or former four division world champion Mikey Garcia, Porter can’t help but scratch his head and wonder why he isn’t in the running. The skills are obvious, but if we cast that aside and look at their possible matchup from an entertainment standpoint, then Porter is even more convinced that he should be facing him this weekend and not Formella.
“There’s a lot of history there with myself and Manny Pacquiao,” explained Porter. “If you look at us as fighters, in the welterweight division, we are the most exciting. You know what’s going to happen when Shawn Porter steps into the ring and Manny Pacquiao. We never disappoint.”
Even at the age of 41, Pacquiao has put away his walking cane and given fighters of this generation a boxing lesson in the ring. Most recently, the current WBA titlist was seen handing Thurman the first loss of his professional career.
Porter was there live for their contest, and while he knows how dangerous Pacquiao is in the ring, he also fully believes that their contest would end in only one way if they matched up.
“I’m confident that I would beat him in a fight. We’ve seen in the past where a great fighter comes along and beats a fighter that was great. That’s what would happen.”
Manny Pacquiao Doesn’t Completely Rule Out Clash Against Gennadiy Golovkin: “It Depends”
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.”
Keith Thurman Opens Up on Pacquiao Loss: “I Just Wasn’t 100 Percent”
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman isn’t a fan of excuses. So when the former unified welterweight champion forked over his WBA title to Manny Pacquiao last year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, he simply gave Pacquiao his credit and vowed to bounce back even stronger.
For Thurman though, returning even stronger would entail a life that was relatively free from injuries. Yet over the past two years, Thurman has sat on the sidelines as his body consistently broke down. Punching an opponent in the face became impossible as he battled both hand and elbow issues after unifying titles with Danny Garcia in 2017.
While Thurman took one step back in 2017 and 2018 due to inactivity, he claimed to be ready for two steps forward against Pacquaio in 2019. The former champion assured everyone that he was as healthy as he had been in a long time. Fast forward one year later however, and Thurman is now pulling the curtains back on the physical issues he brought to the ring with him on that night.
“There were a lot of variables,” said Thurman on PepTalkUK. “The number one thing that I blame is my weight control. When it comes to self discipline, I failed at that. My hand was a little bit of an issue as well. I had to cut sparring short many times. My preparation and where I was at in my sparring, I was not happy. Normally I’m turning it up on my sparring partners but I was just not at a certain level. It was just a rough year for me, I can admit that. I just wasn’t 100 percent.”
Even with Thurman admitting that he was not fully prepared for Pacquiao on the night, their contest was razor close. The second half of their matchup was mostly dominated by the Florida native, but it was the first half and in particular the first round, where Thurman fell behind heavily on the scorecards.
Thurman exploded out of the gate as he landed hard shots with his man pinned against the ropes. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Thurman hit the deck, courtesy of a Pacquiao right hand. From there it was an uphill battle as most counted him out. The knockdown may have been devastating to Thurman’s chances of winning the contest, but he believes that was not the beginning of the end.
“The fight wasn’t lost in that first round,” explained Thurman. “The fight was lost somewhere around the tenth. I kinda saw the fight as a draw with two rounds to go and that’s where I lost the fight. I believe that if I would’ve pushed and convinced myself that I needed a knockdown that maybe it would’ve led to something other than a one point decision in his favor.”
Throughout the 25 year career of Pacquiao he has been known to give his opponents more than one attempt at dethroning him. And in the case of Juan Manuel Marquez, he was given four. As for Thurman, Pacquiao seems to be moving forward.
Sulking at a blown opportunity with no rematch in the immediate future isn’t on the mind of Thurman though. The welterweight division is regarded as one of the deepest in all of boxing, and as far as he is concerned, he has an endless reservoir of options.
“It’s really about what doors open up. I can fight Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia or Danny Garcia. I would be surprised if a fight with Errol Spence popped up right away but there is so many Opportunities.”
Mikey Garcia Still Hoping for Pacquiao Showdown
By: Hans Themistode
Even at the age of 41, Manny Pacquiao is considered one of the most difficult fighters to overcome inside of the ring. The eight division world champion and current WBA titlist not only represents a tough out inside the squared circle but he is also viewed as a golden ticket.
Matching up with Pacquiao not only allows his opponents to bring in career high paydays, but pulling off a win against him can send the stock of his opposition through the roof.
For former four division world champion Mikey Garcia, he seemingly punched his ticket to face Pacquiao with a win over two division titlist Jessie Vargas. Through no fault of his own however, his ticket may now be expired.
“We don’t know yet,” said Garcia in an interview with FightHype. “We were talking to team Pacquiao earlier in the year before my fight with Jessie. They were excited to possibly get a fight with me, but this whole COVID situation came and slowed things down. We don’t know if that’s still going to be the plan for Manny. I mean he still has a lot of options.”
Amongst those options for Pacquiao is former two division world titlist Danny Garcia and current welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford. Regardless of where Mikey Garcia ranks on the list of Pacquiao’s desired next opponent, he believes that he brings the sort of style to the table that would make for a great matchup.
“I think it would be a terrific fight,” said Garcia. “Styles make fights and I think it would be great. I hope we can clear this whole thing soon and everybody gets healthy. Hopefully they can develop some sort of vaccine. When that happens the first thing we are going to do is push for a Manny fight.”
While there is no guarantee that Garcia will receive the Pacquiao phone call, that has not stopped him from doing his homework against the boxing legend. With 25 years of tape to watch against his possible next opponent, Garcia believes he knows exactly what he should and shouldn’t do against Pacquiao should they meet in the ring.
“I feel that I would be able to box and counterpunch. If I stayed in the pocket and traded punches, then I think that would be a mistake. I gotta be able to move, dodge punches and punch in combinations. Similar to the way Juan Manuel Marquez fought him.”
“If I stayed and tried to trade punches with him then I think he would overwhelm me. He punches in five, six, seven combinations and moves around with different angles so I’m not going to do that. I would try to box effectively on the outside and counterpunch with combinations. I think that is the key to a fight with Manny.”
Bob Arum on Manny Pacquiao vs GGG Possibility: “It’s a Stupid Fight”
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.”
Shawn Porter Prefers Manny Pacquiao’s Career Over Floyd Mayweather’s
By: Hans Themistode
Floyd Mayweather Jr has done it all.
Five division world champion. Check.
Break every single boxing pay per view record. Check.
Rake in nearly one billion dollars. Check.
Retire undefeated. Check.
Oh, and by the way, defeat the one man who many believed was the biggest threat to his unblemished record in Manny Pacquiao. Also check.
Still, even with the countless accolades and piles of cash that Mayweather has accrued during a 21 year career, current Welterweight contender Shawn Porter would rather have Pacquiao’s career instead of Mayweather’s.
“I’m actually gonna go with Manny,” Porter told host Dan Rafael. “I think that even though Manny has taken a lot of punishment – he’s been in a lot of wars, he’s been in a lot of exciting fights. You know me – I like the war. I like the battle and I like the excitement. So, for those reasons, I would pick Manny. And then on top of that, if you look around the world more people appreciate Manny. More people respect and adore Manny than dislike him [than] Floyd Mayweather.”
The fan in Porter loves what Pacquiao represents. The Filipino native isn’t simply a boxing legend but more so an icon. But in many respects so is Mayweather. Yet, the world titles, piles of money and spotless record, isn’t enough to change the mind of Porter.
“Just like when I get in the ring and I get people up on their feet, that’s what Manny Pacquiao did,” Porter said. “And Floyd’s been able to do it, too, but not as [much]. I don’t think the excitement – it was a different level to the excitement. They’re two different fighters. But again, at the end of the day, when Manny Pacquiao goes out and he walks up and down the street, more people are willing to shake his hand and say hi to him than make a mean mug or wanna confront him or anything like that. Which I think a lot of people nowadays don’t appreciate Floyd Mayweather for everything that he’s done for this sport because it’s been overshadowed by some of the things that he’s done outside of the sport.”
Danny Garcia Facing Either Manny Pacquiao or Errol Spence Jr This Fall
By: Hans Themistode
When Danny Garcia matched up with Ivan Redkach this past January, it didn’t make much sense. He was fresh off a stoppage win over Adrian Granados and looked to be in line to face one of the top names in the Welterweight division.
To the surprise of no one, Garcia made it look easy against Redkach, winning virtually every round on the judges scorecards. The victory may have added Garcia’s 36th win, but many were still wondering as to why it needed to take place in the first place.
Now, it’s all making sense.
Redkach is a left handed fighter. So is unified champion Errol Spence Jr and WBA titlist Manny Pacquiao, the two names Garcia is now focused on.
“I was told either him or Manny Pacquiao,” said Garcia on the AK and Barak show. “I know I said September on [Instagram Live], but it should be in the fall. I don’t wanna say. I don’t wanna give false information, like September. But it may be in the fall. Either him or Manny Pacquiao. So, that’s what I was told.”
The golden pot at the end of a win over either man is huge for Garcia. Spence is considered the best in the Welterweight division, while Pacquiao is a living legend. Fans may have their preference as to who they want to see him jump into the ring with next, but for Garcia, you can place both names in a hat, blind fold him and tell him to choose a name at random. It wouldn’t really matter either way.
“You know, it doesn’t matter to me at this point. Both of them are champions. Spence would be better because I would win two titles. I would also become a five-time world champion. But even beating a legend in Manny Pacquiao would be … that’ll be a great thing for my legacy. So, it doesn’t matter to me at this point.”
While Garcia was walking all over Redkach in the ring on January 25th, Spence was dealing with his own fight outside of it. The Dallas native was involved in a horrific car accident. One that saw his vehicle flip over several times. He proved that he isn’t only durable in the ring but also outside of it as he walked away from the crash with just a few bruises and some brand new teeth. Garcia could have waited for the champ to recover, but with COVID-19 pressing pause on the boxing world, he’s happy he didn’t wait.
“I was supposed to fight Spence in January,” Garcia said. “Remember, January 25th I was supposed to fight him. The fight was done, and I’m glad I did fight in January. If I didn’t fight in January, I would’ve been out the ring for a long time because no one knew about COVID-19. I’m glad I pushed for a fight and I’m glad I got a fight. I would’ve been out the ring for a long time.”
“I just feel like everything happens for a reason,” Garcia said. “You know, I got the southpaw. Now, whoever’s next, Manny or Spence, most likely, it may be looking more like Spence. But if Manny says yes, then it’s Manny.”
Floyd Mayweather Tired of Fighters Calling Out Manny Pacquiao: “Don’t Chase Him, You Young Guys Chase Each Other”
By: Hans Themistode
Manny Pacquiao has spent the vast majority of his career with an X on his back.
With world titles in eight divisions and wins over countless hall of famers, it makes complete sense that Pacquiao has always been the hunted. Grabbing a win over him not only leads to a career high payday, but it could also provide you with your own hall of fame ticket as well.
But now, at the age of 41, former Pacquiao opponent, Floyd Mayweather is somewhat disgusted with the non stop call outs.
“It’s sad that you hear guys say, ‘I want to fight Manny Pacquiao,” said Mayweather to Fighthype. “But Manny Pacquiao is 41 now. Don’t chase him. You young guys chase each other. Stop chasing this old man. If the opportunity presents itself, go out and do what you got to do. Let Manny Pacquiao pick and choose who he wants to fight. With everything he’s accomplished, hopefully, he’s made some smart investments.”
Mayweather of course defeated Pacquiao back in 2015. Since then, Mayweather decided to hang up the gloves just two years and two fights later. Pacquiao on the other hand, is showing no signs of slowing down. He wrapped up year number 24 with a one sided victory over Adrien Broner and capped things off with a close but clear win over Keith Thurman. The latter gifted Pacquiao with yet another world title on his already filled mantle.
Retirement doesn’t seem to be on the mind of Pacquiao either, as he is picking from the young contenders who continually call him out. That would include 32 year old Mikey Garcia, age 32 Terence Crawford and 30 year old Errol Spence Jr. Even 21 year old Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia has thrown his hat into the race.
Protruding from those names to become the odds on favorite recently has been Mikey Garcia. With another young strong fighter seemingly on tap for the 41 Pacquiao, Mayweather doesn’t have an issue with it, he’s just speaking what’s on his mind.
“It’s his prerogative to do what he wants to do. I don’t have anything against him, but it’s not me.”
Yordenis Ugas Calls Out Terence Crawford: “I Won in The Amateurs”
By: Hans Themistode
Not too many people can boast of picking up a win against Terence Crawford in the ring. As a pro, he’s beaten all 36 of his opponents. But in the amateurs, he’s had a few slip ups. Crawfords record in the non paid ranks stood at 58-12, and by the time 2008 rolled around, he was the highest ranked Lightweight in the United States.
Crawford picked up wins against future world champions in Danny Garcia and Mikey Garcia, but amongst his 12 defeats was to current Welterweight contender Yordenis Ugas.
After a decade plus since their last meeting, plenty has changed. But Ugas believes that the scoreboard will look the same regardless.
“I think I can win that fight,” said Ugas on Instagram Live. “We already fought in the amateurs, and I won 26-10. I think he’s a great fighter, and one of the best in the division. But so am I, and it would be a great fight together. I’ll be ready when boxing is back.”
With the boxing schedule on a hiatus due to COVID-19, the thought of having a tuneup fight before jumping into a high stakes matchup hasn’t even crossed the mind of Ugas. In fact, Crawford isn’t the only big name that he currently has an eye on.
“I would like to fight the WBA champion [Manny Pacquiao]. I think I did everything to become a world champion, and I think I won the fight. Let’s see if Spence takes the challenge.”
The world championship belt in which Ugas is referring to is his 2019 WBC title fight against then champion Shawn Porter. Ugas came up just short in that contest, losing via split decision. Since then, he stopped Mike Dallas Jr. earlier this year. He also made it look easy in handing the previously undefeated Omar Figueroa Jr., a one sided loss.
If Ugas can hold onto his number one position within the WBA, he could find himself matched up with Manny Pacquiao the moment this pandemic comes to an end.
Mikey Garcia Believes a Fight With Manny Pacquiao Would Be Perfect Style Matchup
By: Hans Themistode
When four division world champion Mikey Garcia decided to move up two weight classes to take on Errol Spence Jr for his IBF Welterweight title in 2019, no one could believe it. Garcia has always been viewed as a great fighter but there are weight classes for a reason. So when Spence won every single round against Garcia, most of the boxing world laughed.
Fast forward one year later and no one is laughing anymore.
Garcia looked much better in his second go round at the 147 pound limit against former two division champion Jessie Vargas. Garcia dropped him in the fifth and cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
Now, after a solid win under his belt, Garcia has his eyes set on arguably the biggest name in the division.
“I would love that opportunity to fight Manny,” Garcia told promoter Eddie Hearn in an Instagram Live interview. “I think styles, you know, make fights. And he’s not this tall, lanky fighter that can complicate things like Errol Spence did. Errol Spence is a tall fighter who uses the reach very effectively and height. And, you know, he’s a southpaw, which always complicates things.”
“Manny’s still a southpaw, but he’s a lot smaller in size. So, he’s shorter in height, doesn’t have the reach like some of these other welterweights. So, I think that fits much better to get an entertaining fight with me. I think it just fits right.”
In his past three fights Garcia has given up a ton of size. First he was at a five inch height and three inch reach disadvantage against Jessie Vargas. Then it was three and half inches in height and four inches in reach to Errol Spence Jr. Before that, he gave up five inches in height and a ridiculous eight inches in reach to Robert Easter Jr.
A contest with Pacquiao would actually see Garcia face off against someone who is practically the same size as him.
How the fight would play out is anyone’s guess, but Garcia has the right blueprint in mind.
For nearly 25 years, Pacquiao has dominated inside of the ring. But outside of Floyd Mayweather, the two men that have given him the most trouble are Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. He’s fought both men a combined seven times. And although he’s gone 4-2-1 against them, Garcia thinks that they are the perfect fighters to emulate if he were to meet Pacquiao the ring.
“I mean, I remember sparring with him years [and] years ago. And I was able to fight in the ways similar to like [Erik] Morales or [Juan Manuel] Marquez, you know boxing, and we did very well. It was only sparring sessions, but I felt good. I was able to time [him], I was able to use my jab effectively, and that’s why I think that fight makes the best sense right now, to prove to everybody that I can be a world champion at the welterweight limit.”
Mikey Garcia Already Has a Plan if Chosen to Fight Manny Pacquiao
By: Hans Themistode
Time has changed the perception of Mikey Garcia. Both good and bad.
From roughly 2006-2014, Garcia was viewed as one of the best in all of boxing. He wasn’t spectacular in any area, but all he did was win, win, win and win some more. Simply put, you couldn’t name the best boxers in the world without mentioning Mikey Garcia.
Then, out of seemingly nowhere, Garcia hit the sidelines for over two years amidst contract issues. As the old saying goes, out of sight out of mind. Garcia had effectively become yesterday’s news. But once he re-emerged two and half years later, he reclaimed a spot amongst the best in the world with wins over Dejan Zlaticanin, Adrien Broner, Sergey Lipinets and Robert Easter Jr.
No matter where you looked, there just wasn’t a single pound for pound list that didn’t have the name Mikey Garcia. Even with all of his success, Garcia saw his lowest point after he moved up two weight classes and lost to Welterweight champ, Errol Spence Jr in 2019.
It wasn’t that he simply lost. In fact, many were expecting it. But it was the manner in which he was dominated. Garcia lost every single round against Spence and at no point was it competitive.
The sort of loss that Garcia suffered isn’t just difficult to bounce back from, but it also makes it difficult for him to attract big name fighters. Well, Fast forward one year later, and Garcia finds himself near the top once again.
The cause? A great performance against former multiple division champion Jessie Vargas.
Now that Garcia has regained most of his credibility, he finds himself in line for another big fight. This time, against Manny Pacquiao.
For years the two pound for pound stars have been rumored to face off with one another. Now however, things seem to be getting serious as Garcia, Spence, WBO Welterweight champion Terence Crawford and former two division champ Danny Garcia are all in the running to face him next.
Who Pacquiao chooses is anyone’s guess. But if Garcia gets the call, he already has an idea on how he would fight Pacquiao.
“He’s very aggressive, very experienced, very strong,” Garcia said of Pacquiao. “But I look at it as an opportunity for me to fight very smart and try to counter-punch, very similar to the way Marquez fought Manny. You know, Juan Manuel Marquez was very, very intelligent, a great counter-puncher. He did fight Manny, you know, four times. And even though he lost the middle two fights, I felt like he had won. So, I think it’ll be very similar in that way, where I can use my intelligence, my counter-punching abilities and timing to try and beat and overcome that aggressiveness and power that Manny possesses.”
At the moment, promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping to bring a contest between Garcia and Pacquiao to Saudi Arabia sometime later this year.
Eddie Hearn Wants to Bring Manny Pacquiao to Saudi Arabia
By: Hans Themistode
When Saudi Arabia landed the Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr rematch in late 2019, not only did they get their hands on one of the biggest fights in recent boxing history, but they also officially became a major player in the boxing landscape.
Arena’s all over the world that became accustomed to hosting some of the biggest boxing events, immediately turned their eyes to their new overseas competition.
Not everyone believed in Saudi Arabia. Sure, they managed to get their hands on one monumental contest, but they weren’t a real threat to get their hands on anymore, right? Well, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, that just isn’t true.
“We’re gonna be doing a show there at the end of June/early July. That’s what we’re looking into at the moment,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “We have a partnership in place with Skills Challenge for shows in Saudi. That also involve’s some exciting stuff about academies and performance centres. The goal is to try and bring amateurs through in Saudi Arabia as well.”
If Joshua vs Ruiz 2 is any indication, then Saudi Arabia will be gunning for another huge name.
Anthony Joshua could make another trip to the area, but so could WBC/Lineal Heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury. An appearance by four division world champion Canelo Alvarez would turn a few heads. So would a showing from three division champ Vasiliy Lomachenko if he decided to pay them a visit.
Every single one of those aforementioned names would bring a ton of star power. But there’s one fighter that wasn’t previously mentioned, that Saudi Arabia currently has an eye on.
“They want us to deliver a huge show at the end of June/early July. I think Manny Pacquiao is a guy they would probably love to bring to the Kingdom.”
Manny Pacquiao in Saudi Arabia? Why not?
During his 25 year career, the eight division world champ has fought just about everywhere.
Las Vegas, Malaysia, Australia and even a pit stop in China back in 2013.
Even at the age of 41 which usually signals retirement, Pacquiao doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the finish line. The WBA Welterweight champ is fresh off a win against Keith Thurman in July of 2019.
As for who he could take on next, simply take a look at the top of the division and take your guess. Unified champion Errol Spence Jr, former belt holder Danny Garcia and four division world champ Mikey Garcia are all on the top of his wish list.
With Pacquiao having a tendency for making his fans pack a passport in order to see him fight, they could be forced to do so again. The current WBA Welterweight star could be on his way to a mega showdown with one of the divisions best, half way access the world in Saudi Arabia.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Lerena, Assomo, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Lerena, Assomo, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 27th to January 3rd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Las Vegas Strip Club to Open
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is scheduled to open a strip club West of the Las Vegas Strip. The club will be called Girl Collection and is on the site of the Former Sheri’s Cabaret.
Mayweather announced his intentions to open a club on INstagram in July and it is believed he is only months away from opening to the public. More information on his club’s planned opening can be found at http://m.lasvegassun.com/news/2016/dec/29/floyd-mayweather-jr-las-vegas-strip-club-to-open/
Pacquiao’s Next Fight to be Outside United States
The Manilla Times recently reported that Manny Pacquiao’s next fight will take place outside of the United States in either April or May. They also reported that a proposed fight between rising superstar Terence Crawford and Pacquiao will probably take place later this year in the United States.
Arum is quoted as stating, “There’ll be no Pacquiao-Crawford fight in the first to six months of the year, definetly….Only if the fight will be in the United States but we’re not planning the next fight in the United States so we’re not planning on Crawford now.”
Jeff Horn (16-0-1) looks like the favorite to land the next fight with Pacquiao.
World Ranked Cruiserweight Kevin Lerena Kicks Off Huge 2017
World ranked cruiserweight KEVIN “THE KO KID” LERENA, (16-1-0, 8 KO’s) kicks off his 2017 campaign towards a world title in style on Saturday, February 4 with his triumphant return to South Africa’s premier boxing venue, Emperors Palace against VIKAPITA “BEAST MASTER” MERORO, (28-5-0, 14 KO’s) of Windhoek, Namibia.
Presented by Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves of South Africa, advance tickets for THUNDER AND LIGHTNING, may be purchased by calling 078-457-3030.
Sporting movie-star looks, the 24-year-old Lerena will be making his fourth straight appearance at Emperors Palace having thrilled the boxing crowd in his three victories in 2016.
“I can’t wait for the New Year, the path to a world title is in front of me, my promoter Rodney Berman is getting me the right fights and my world rankings will support a title shot in the future,” said Lerena following a sparring session under the watchful eye of trainer Peter Smith.
Said Berman, “Kevin has stardom written all over him, we’ve got big plans in 2017 for him. Putting him in the right fights, securing his position in the world rankings of the sanctioning bodies and working with Banner Promotions in the US to secure him a major stateside fight in the coming year.”
“We are excited to be co-promoting Kevin with Rodney Berman and Golden Gloves. Rodney has only brought us the cream of the crop, “said Artie Pelullo, President and CEO of Banner Promotions. “Kevin is a quality fighter, who has shown he has championship ability. We look forward to him getting closer to a world title opportunity with a big win on February 4.”
“I’m as excited about Kevin’s future as I’ve ever been of all the fighters I’ve worked with, cruiserweight is a very exciting division in boxing currently.”
Lerena is currently world ranked #5 by the World Boxing Organization and #11 by the World Boxing Council.
Most recently, Lerena, performing brilliantly from start to finish, winning a hard-fought ten round decision over the undefeated Micki Nielsen on October 22, 2016, earning the critically lauded Super 4 Tournament Championship.
In the first round of the Super 4 Tournament Championship, Lerena won a ten round unanimous decision over Roberto Bolonti on June 11, 2016.
Kicking off his 2016 campaign on April 24, 2016, the southpaw won the South African Cruiserweight Title with a tenth round knockout of Johnny Muller. The stoppage avenged a ten round decision loss in 2014 to Muller.
GYM Signs French Olympian Christian M’Billi Assomo
Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) is proud to announce the promotional contract signing of 2016 French Olympian Christian M’Billi Assomo to an exclusive promotional contact.He will settle in Quebec and make his professional debut there in early 2017.
Known in the ring as ”Le Solide” (The Solid), Assomo will arrive in Montreal at the beginning of January, when he will start working with world-class trainer Marc Ramsay and his outstanding team.
The spectacular 21-year-old Assomo has all the tools to achieve his goal of becoming world champion, as well as a great star in international boxing. As a Frenchman, his primary language is that spoken in Quebec, which will facilitate his adaptation and connection with the local media.
A native of Yaoundé in Cameroon, he moved at the age of seven to France, where he learned by chance to box at the Montargis Club. Assomo quickly developed into a powerful, serious tough and highly successful boxer. He became a major name on the international amateur scene in the middleweight division (165 lbs./75 kg).
A member of the French Army, Assomo had a truly impressive amateur record, capturing gold medals at the 2013 European Junior Championship, 2014 European Union Championship and European Olympic Qualification Tournament, as well as maintaining an unbeaten record (4-0) in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).
At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Assomo defeated Ukrainian Dmytro Mytrofanov and Ecuadorian Marlon Delgado prior tolosing in a furious battle to the eventual Olympic gold medalist, Arlen Lopez, of Cuba.
“At the outset,” GYM President Yvon Michel said, “we were interested in his talent, determination and willingness to do well. There’s also his engaging personality and he has the discipline to become the best. We are very excited to work with him. I am convinced that he has the potential to become world champion.”
“I am very pleased with this agreement with the Groupe Yvon Michel,” Assomo added. “I’m sure this is the beginning of a great adventure. I look forward to my first performance. GYM knew how to attract me: by its past, by the boxers it supports, by its structure,”
“After a good career among amateurs, rich in results,” French National Boxing Team coach John Dovi explained, “it is time for Christian to go into the pro ranks. His offensive style and overall boxing skills will allow him, I am sure, to reach the highest level.”
“I started following Christian M’Billi’s amateur career two years ago and his successes on the international scene were more than impressive,” Ramsey commented. “I am very happy to associate myself with such a disciplined and talented boxer. I see a very promising future for this young man.”
“Christian M’Billi fuels such high intensity,” GYM Vice President of Operations and Recruitment Bernard Barré noted. “Fans will be in ecstasy watching such a powerful and exciting pugilist.”
Assomo, who is currently training in France, fought his last amateur bout on December 3rd. The goal is to have him boxing on February 9 at the Cabaret du Casino de Montréal.
Irvin Gonzalez Headlines January 19th Boxing Event in Worcester, Massachusetts
Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) held a press conference yesterday to formally announce its inaugural show, “New England’s Future,” Thursday night, January 19, at the Worcester Palladium. It will mark the first professional boxing event in Worcester, located in Central Mass., in five years.
Rivera Promotions Entertainment is owned and operated by one of Worcester’s all-time greatest boxers – 3-time, 2-division world champion Jose Antonio “El Gallo” Rivera – along with his son, Anthonee “AJ” Rivera, whose collective goal is to bring boxing back to Worcester on a consistent basis, providing boxers a platform and fans a full entertainment experience.
“It’s all about the fighters,” RPE CEO Jose Antonio Rivera said. “I’m in a unique position as a promoter because of my boxing background. I hard it is for local fighters to get fights, which is why we have so many with less than six pro fights and five pro debuts fighters on this card. They are why we’re here today. I never had a press conference until I was much more established in my career. This is about them showcasing their skills.
“After my son graduated from Johnson Wales University with a degree in Sports Management, he told me he was ready to form Rivera Promotions Entertainment, as we had discussed, and promote shows. I lost a lot of money promoting a show in 2008, so I told him to put a plan together first and within a week he did. He had gotten his feet wet in the business as an intern for a boxing promoter. We went over the plan ad decided that we can do this. We’re not signing fighters, right now, we’re helping them build their careers. We do a lot of hard work behind the scenes that the public doesn’t see; the fighters work in the gym. I’m really excited about January 19th. Irvin Gonzalez is a future world champion.”
Tickets, priced at $65.00 (ringside), $45.00 (preferred seating) and $35.00 (general admission), are on sale and available to purchase at www.ThePalladium.net or the Palladium box office (general admission only), or by contacting Jose Rivera ([email protected]/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera ([email protected]/774.272.2269) of any of the fighters. A portion of the proceeds will go to Why Me & Sherry’s House.
“We appreciate the support being given to us and the fighters who give their blood, sweat and tears for you,” RPE president A.J. Rivera added. “I got into the business side of boxing as an intern working for CES. In Worcester, we have 11 active fighters, all on the rise, and to bring boxing back to Worcester is special, Teamwork makes dreams work. I also want to note that none of these fighters turned down a single opponent we offered.”
Promising junior lightweight prospect, 2015 New England Golden Gloves champion Irvin Gonzalez (4-0, 4 KOs), fighting out of Worcester, will be showcased in the 6-round main event against Mexican invader Oscar Eduardo Quezada (2-1, 1 KO).
“I’m very excited to be fighting in my hometown for the first time as a pro,” Gonzalez commented. “I fought here as an amateur but that’s not the same as fighting in the main event and my first 6-rounder. Don’t take your eyes off the ring when I fight. I’m going to be 5-0 with five knockouts on January 19th.”
In the 6-round co-feature, light heavyweight Reinaldo “Bazooka” Graceski (4-0, 2 KOs), of nearby Springfield (MA), faces Worcester’s Ralph Johnson (2-9, 1 KO).
Fighting on the undercard in 4-round bouts are Worcester junior lightweight Ranse Andino in his pro debut vs. Lowell’s (MA) Jonathan Perez (2-0-1, 2 KOs), 49-year-old Auburn (MA) junior middleweight “Irish” Chuck Shearns (2-1, 1 KO) in his retirement fight vs. Philadelphian Shavonte Dixon (0-1), pro-debuting Worcester heavyweight Felix Martinez vs. Dorchester’s (MA) Brian Richardson (0-8), Hartford’s (CT) pro-debuting light heavyweight Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera vs. Brockton’s (MA) Huston Crayton (1-8, 0 KOs), pro-debuting Southbridge (MA) boxer Wilfredo Pagan vs. Puerto Rican Alexander Picot (1-1-1, 0 KOs) at a 145-pound catchweight, pro-debuting Springfield (MA) junior featherweight Luis “Pancho” Santiago vs, Mexican Jonathan Ramos (1-2, 0 KOs), 2016 N.W. Golden Gloves champion Anthony Laureano (1-0), of East Haven (CT), vs. Boston junior welterweight Rafael Francis (0-8), Saugus (MA) light heavyweight Brandon Montella (5-0, 4 KOs) vs. Mexican veteran Roberto El Viejo” Valenzuela (69-73-2, 56 KOs) and unbeaten Lawrence (MA) heavyweight Jean Pierre Augstin (7-0-1, 3 KOs) vs. TBA.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Major event sponsors include Lundgren Honda, Atty. Michael H. Erlich, Atty. Maria M. Rivera-Cotto and USANA Health Services. Other sponsors are TKO Auto Repair and Atty. Stephen W. Debs.