Tag Archives: manny

Floyd Mayweather Takes the Limelight from Canelo vs. Golovkin, Announces Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 2


By: William Holmes

The unthinkable appears to just have happened.

The most financially successful pay per view of all time, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, sold millions of pay per views and was a world wide success. It was a fight that fans saw Mayweather win by comfortable margin. Afterwards, Pacquiao felt he did enough to win the fight and claimed he injured his shoulder halfway through.

It took years for that fight to take place with a lot of negotiation and posturing on both sides. Many felt that fight took place a few years too late and there wasn’t a whole lot of commotion for a rematch.

But Pacquaio is now a free agent, and one of the impediments that kept the first fight from happening, the fact both fighters were represented by two different promotional companies, is no longer present.

Shockingly, sport fans around the world woke up to a message on Instagram from Floyd Mayweather. He stated, “I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year another 9 figure pay day on the way @mayweatherpromotions”

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I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year another 9 figure pay day on the way @mayweatherpromotions

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In the clip, you can see Mayweather and Pacquiao talking in a club and hear Floyd tell some members of his entourage that he’s coming back in December. You can also hear Mayweather tell Pacquiao he doesn’t want to hear anything about his shoulder this time.

No official announcement has been released about this alleged planned fight. HBO has appeared to be slowly backing out of the boxing business so it ‘s likely that Showtime will be involved.

When something is officially announced Boxing Insider will let you know, but Floyd Mayweather has once again caused a big buzz in the boxing world.

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Pacquiao Makes Peace with Top Rank, Amir Khan Targets Him Next


By: Sean Crose

My post from the other day,” Manny Pacquiao declared on Instagram on Wednesday, “was a result of miscommunication between my Team and Top Rank. Everything has been clarified. I would like to thank Bob and Top Rank for helping guide my career and for the many great years of working together. We have accomplished so many amazing things together.” And with that, Manny Pacquiao seemed to drop the suit the world learned he was planning to employ in order to get back pay from Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions.

The fight world was abuzz earlier this week when Pacquiao, or someone in his rather large camp, posted on Instagram that he was going to sue Top Rank for money owed him from last summer’s victory over Lucas Matthysse. “Congratulations and good luck to @TRboxing and @ESPN on your 7-year partnership agreement,” the post read on Pacquiao’s page. “I know both of you have been very busy finalizing the deal. However, I have not received the US rights payment for my July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse that was broadcast on ESPN plus. Therefore, I am initiating legal proceedings against Top Rank and all other parties based on the non-payment and attempt to restrict my future rights. Thank you.”

Pacquiao had long been teamed with Arum. Indeed, theirs was one of the most lucrative partnerships in the sport. The veteran promoter Arum led Pacquiao through blockbuster fight after blockbuster fight, guiding his man through one of the most decorated and lucrative careers in all of sports. For his part, the Filipino fighter was gold for Arum, earning Top Rank, Arum’s promotional outfit, vast sums of money over the years. The duo reached their peak in 2015, when a very difficult fight was made with fellow fight icon Floyd Mayweather (who walked out of the ring with a UD win that night).

Things have clearly changed for Pacquiao in recent years, however. Now an active, full time senator in his homeland, the Filipino legend is looking for lucrative (and perhaps not overly challenging) matches to add to his coffers. Reportedly past his peak, Pacquiao didn’t work with longtime trainer Freddie Roach for the first time in ages for the Matthysse fight, and his relationship with Arum is clearly not what it was. The question of money due, however, appears to no longer be an issue, something that certainly comes as a relief to all parties involved.

As for the future, England’s Amir Khan feels he and Pacquiao are on a collision course. “There’s been talks,” Khan told Good Morning Britain. “They are very interested in taking the fight. Manny and me are both in the same position where we are looking for an opponent at the end of the year, start of next year.” So confident is Khan that a big money fight between he and Pacquiao will happen that he told Good Morning Britain that the chances of a contract coming through are between sixty and seventy percent. Khan, who recently bested Samuel Vargas, has been longing for a major welterweight battle for years. It looked like he might land a coveted shot against Floyd Mayweather a while back – but Mayweather opted to face Marcos Maidana instead.

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Manny Pacquiao Reportedly Taking Top Rank To Court


By: Sean Crose

Manny Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum were known as a highly successful team in the fight business for years. It was Arum who arranged the legendary fighter’s top matches, including the enormous payday Pacquiao earned from facing Floyd Mayweather back in 2015. Now, however, the relationship between the Filipino boxer and the octogenarian promoter looks to be close to beyond repair. For Pacquiao’s Instagram page had a message on Monday claiming that Arum’s Top Rank Promotions hadn’t paid Pacquiao for his victory of Lucas Matthysse last summer. The post, presumably penned by Pacquiao, also claimed that the matter was headed to court.

“ Congratulations and good luck to @TRboxing and @ESPN on your 7-year partnership agreement,” the post read. “I know both of you have been very busy finalizing the deal. However, I have not received the US rights payment for my July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse that was broadcast on ESPN plus. Therefore, I am initiating legal proceedings against Top Rank and all other parties based on the non-payment and attempt to restrict my future rights. Thank you.” While it’s true the fruitful relationship between Pacquiao and Arum looked to many to be heading to it’s inevitable end for some time, posts like the one on Pacquiao’s Instagram page clearly took the fight world off guard.

Pacquiao, it must be noted, has been in a transition period for a while now. A Filipino senator, he only occasionally appears in the ring these days. He’s also widely considered to be past his prime as he pushes 40. Then there’s the matter of longtime trainer Freddie Roach, who Pacquiao refused to employ as trainer for the Matthysse fight. Reports claimed Roach not only heard about the break via the press, there has also been word that Pacquiao didn’t offer condolences to Roach after the passing of Roach’s mother. Relationships, perhaps personal as well as professional, seem to be evaporating in the twilight of Pacquiao’s career.

One thing the public might keep in mind is the fact that Pacquiao surrounds himself with an enormous entourage. At the moment, it’s not even clear if it was Pacquiao himself who left the message on Instagram or if he even supports its
content. While the fighter loves being the center of a crowd, the sometimes chaotic nature of Pacquiao’s public life can often make it difficult to discern fact from fiction.

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Brave Buboy: Coaching Takeaways from the Victory of Team Pacquiao


By: John Tsoi

“Buboy, Buboy, Buboy!” Chants of Buboy Fernandez, lead trainer of Manny Pacquiao, reverberated through the room after he took the microphone to answer post-fight questions from the press. For many years, he was the chubby and likable figure seen behind Freddie Roach whenever the hall of fame trainer handled media obligations. This time, he finally stepped into the limelight as the lead trainer for his best friend against Lucas Matthysse – a job which he excelled with flying colors. Only few would have imagined a knockout victory for a past-his-prime Pacquiao after a nine-year stoppage drought, but somehow Buboy and the coaching team delivered. Luck as it may seem, it isn’t.

Many viewers were amazed at how the Filipino boxing legend looked renewed as if he turned back the clock. The reason is relatively simple: Buboy added new weapons to Pacquiao’s already rich arsenal. Boxing enthusiasts would know that he is never renowned as a body puncher. However, apart from the counter right hook against Matthysse’s jab, Pacquiao was able to incorporate body punches when he spotted openings throughout the fight. For instance, he unleashed Errol Spence-esque right-left combos to the Argentinian’s body in the first and fifth round, something he rarely did with Freddie in charge. On the other hand, the infamous left uppercut that left everybody in awe was also a result of Buboy’s meticulous observation and planning. Knowing that Matthysse had a tendency to lean forward with a high guard, he had Manny training specifically for that punch. It is hard to recall any fight in recent years where the Filipino applied the left uppercut with such conviction, which truly validates Buboy’s keen boxing sense developed by being Roach’s apprentice.

Perhaps one of the least discussed factors of victory is Pacquiao’s great lead foot positioning against Matthysse. For the majority of the fight, Pacquiao was able to place his lead right foot outside Matthysse’s lead left foot when attacking because the Argentinian often came towards the Filipino in straight lines. Other than creating punching angles, Manny’s lead foot dominance and side steps to his right allowed him to move away from the dangerous right hand of Matthysse, who found it difficult to land a Marquez-type straight right since Manny was not right in front of him. In spite of Pacquiao’s success, his coaches never got carried away. Strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune reminded his fighter in between rounds to be mindful of Matthysse, who always poses a threat with his punching power. The Buboy-lead team was spot on in making sure that Manny fight with controlled aggression. Overall, Team Pacquiao’s game plan was much improved compared to the controversial fight in Brisbane.

The corner work of Pacquiao’s coaches during this fight is equally impressive as the tactics devised, if not even more. Justin Fortune admitted in an interview that in the fight versus Jeff Horn, the corner was “a little chaotic” with “screaming and yelling”. This is detrimental to a fighter because the trainers are supposed to relay the message or advice as clearly as possible, but instead Pacquiao got no help except from Miguel Diaz trying to tend to the open cuts. In a stark contrast, the corner was well-coordinated and calm for the fight in Malaysia. Notice that at the end of rounds 4 and 6, the broadcast showed how Buboy and Justin took turns to speak to Pacquiao. The team seemed to learn from past mistakes and had calmed the storm. In addition, this might have something to do with Freddie’s absence in the corner. Buboy was always animated when working Manny’s corner in the past and likes to speak a lot. Yet, this doesn’t do Freddie any good since the lead trainer should be the main man in giving out instructions between rounds. We often see the two of them talking, sometimes even shouting, at the same time, such that Manny was probably not even listening to them but relying on himself. Therefore, Buboy’s intensity during fights sets him up perfectly as the lead trainer rather than being an assistant.

Speaking of Freddie, there is no denying that he is one of the best boxing trainers in the world. Having trained a multitude of world champions, which includes turning Pacquiao from a left-handed slugger into a complete fighter, while battling Parkinson’s disease every day, he has earned massive respect in the boxing circle. However, as cruel as it might sound, it is better if he leave Team Pacquiao at this stage of the Filipino’s career. We must admit that Pacquiao is already out of his prime, and therefore having a near-perfect game plan is imperative to compensate for his decline in physical abilities. He looked decent in the third fight against Timothy Bradley and against Jessie Vargas, but the flash knockdowns were no indication that he rediscovered his dominant self. The Battle in Brisbane totally revealed an inept Freddie-led coaching team. Manny was obviously not prepared for the rough tactics of his opponent as he was often troubled by Horn’s size, especially against the rope which the Philippine senator had little success. Whether he stayed on the ropes intentionally or not, no trainer should even allow an aging boxer to try fighting off the ropes against a younger and bigger opponent. Terence Crawford took the chance to demonstrate what being prepared for Horn means. Despite Pacquiao winning the fight in many people’s eyes, it was a far cry from what we all expected.

To be honest, Pacquiao’s recent fights under Freddie Roach were underwhelming because it seemed like the American trainer never had any particular game plan for each fight, but rather, only relying on the Filipino’s talent and experience, plus a general tactic of boxing “in-and-out”. After Buboy took up the reins of the training camp, we saw a seismic shift in terms of the tactics. Pacquiao fought with a specific game plan structured around the tendencies of his opponent and found the effective punches. Freddie would have asked Manny to box Matthysse as we would have expected, but Buboy and Justin wanted the opposite – to go first and be proactive. The knockout victory was not merely the icing on the cake, but it exemplifies the difference between applying a general and a distinct game plan.

Moreover, probably as a result of his age, Freddie does not seem to have the fire in him anymore. Pacquiao bore the brunt of Horn’s headbutts throughout their fight, but Buboy was the only one in the corner to protest against the referee. Rewatch what happened after the end of the seventh round and you can see Buboy furiously hitting his own head repeatedly as a signal to the referee about Horn leading with his head. Freddie made no attempt whatsoever to complain in order to protect his fighter, which he constantly did so in his best years with Pacquiao. After the fight, the American appeared resigned to the defeat with his interviews and comments. All of these point to the sad truth that Freddie is no longer a good fit with the Filipino icon.

Credit must be given when it’s due. Prior to the fight in Malaysia, question marks were all over the place with the absence of long-time trainer Freddie Roach. However, Buboy Fernandez, Justin Fortune and Team Pacquiao reassured us that all is good. Manny followed their well-designed stratagem, suffocated Lucas Matthysse’s offense which led to a long-awaited stoppage at 39 years old. It was so astonishing that it had haters coming up with a plethora of excuses to discredit the victory. In the twilight of Manny Pacquiao’s distinguished career, it is only right for Freddie to pass the trainer’s torch to Buboy for one last hurrah.

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Dear Kuya Manny: Please Retire at 60


By: Benre Zenarosa

Dear Kuya Manny,

In a true Filipino fashion, can I call you ‘Kuya’ since I’ve always seen you as an older brother? How are you? How are the bruises? I hope you’re recovering well.

I learned that you had another bout when my sister’s husband called and inquired about its result while we’re having lunch last Sunday.

Nov. 23, 2014, Macau, China — Superstar Manny Pacquiao wins a 12-round unanimous decision over WBO Jr. Welterweight champion Chris “Real Rocky” Algieri. at the Cotai Arena in The Venetian Macao Resort in Macau,China.
—- Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2014

Have you watched the fight?” my sister asked while holding her smartphone. “Who won?”

“What fight?” I responded.

“The Pacquiao fight” she replied. “You don’t know?”

I paused for a moment not just because of cluelessness but also because every little reason why I stopped caring about any news about you all came back to me. The horror you single-handedly inflicted into my consciousness three years ago saw the light of the tunnel again. Piece by piece. Detail by detail. Pound for pound.

May 3, 2015. Sunday. “The Fight of the Century.” It’s you versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. SM Megamall Cinema 3. Pay per view. 2 tickets. I was sitting next to my younger brother Ronnel. The 12-round match has ended. Jimmy Lennon Jr. announced the winner. Cheers were replaced by sighs. Nobody wanted to leave the theater. We were shocked. “Is that it?” the old man sitting across me shouted in exasperation. We waited for the climax of the movie pictured mentally by hundreds of millions of fans all over the world: Mayweather, the nemesis – blank-faced, defeated on the canvas after being hit by you in a barrage of uppercuts and right hooks. It never happened.

No, it’s not that we lost that made it unforgettable. It’s the difficult truth hidden behind the curtain that consumed me. You made me despise boxing. The sport died for me on that day.

During a post-fight interview, you revealed that you had entered that fight with a pre-existing shoulder injury and then further injured that area during the fourth round of the contest. When I heard this, my heart wanted to explode. I couldn’t believe it. It felt like I have been deceived with my two eyes wide open by you, the same man who had told in his pre-fight interview: “Don’t get nervous… I’m the one fighting, so relax.”

I watched every possible discussion that one can view online because of the hype everyone has poured for that momentous event. Boxing greats, analysts, and even superstars from other sports became involved and gave their take on who would emerge victorious. It was billed as the modern era’s Joe Frazier versus Muhammad Ali contest. But nobody saw it coming – the lie of the century.

Kuya, it was the first time in my entire life that I decided to buy tickets and watch a fight of yours on pay per view. I had watched all your previous fights on tv and on Youtube. To me and probably just like the million others around the world, it was an attempt to be part of history; to be able to tell myself decades later, if God will permit, that I was there with you in every blow, in every jab, in every hook. It was my humble way of supporting you. But again, I was wrong. You and your camp had a different view the entire time. The world expected a clash of titans with no injury report divulged to the public. Everyone assumed that you were at 100% or almost at the peak of your strength and so tickets have been sold out.

Kuya Manny, a few days after your Mayweather fight, I tried to convince myself that you had hidden the truth for the fight to not be postponed because the other camp might use it a reason to back out. I understand that you had been luring Mayweather for the fight to be realized for so many years. Is that more important than your integrity, reputation and dignity as a man? And just like that, you moved on from one fight to another as if nothing happened.

Sports breathes from hope and to engage in sports is a way to relieve the different forms of stress of life. However, if used the improper way, it can be lethal. A promise of solace can be turned into a nightmare that can haunt the minds of people. That’s exactly what you did, Kuya.

But who am I compared to your greatness? Why should I hold a grudge to you after everything that you’ve done? Is it too hard to forgive another human being and forget all the heartaches?

Whenever I see you in the news or whenever your name surfaces in my conversations with my colleagues and friends, I remember how you made me feel. You brought another exceptional dimension to the word “Filipino” in the international stage. You’re “The Filipino Pride” and “The People’s Champ” and you’ve shown the world what we’re made of.

Yours is a beautiful rags-to-riches story: a mighty warrior who became affluent because of his grit, passion, persistence, and determination. As a storyteller, I fell in love with it. Is it too much to ask for a story book ending in your part?

In his final NBA game, your good friend Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant astoundingly scored 60 points on 22 of 50 shooting against Utah Jazz in 2016. A number of spectators were standing and jumping in the Staples Center arena out of excitement. The mood was festive. Hollywood A-listers were in attendance. He was blessed with an epic ending which is rare for sports legends in history. He retired a winner. After bagging your 60th career win, you have the power to retire a champion.

At 2:43 of the 7th round, you convincingly showed the world what’s left in your tank after defeating the much younger Argentine boxer Lucas Matthysse by TKO and earned the WBA Welterweight title.

But just like a younger brother to his kuya, I hope you retire now from boxing and enjoy more time with your family and loved ones. I’m worried that you might seriously get hurt on your next fight and bid goodbye to the sport you’re passionate about because your mind and body have given up on you. I’m concerned about how your wife Jinkee, your kids, and mommy Dionisia would react if they’ll see you in an unspeakable state. You have nothing else to prove.

Also, please reach out to the LGBTQ+ community and all of those you have offended before. Embrace them with open arms and patiently search for the common ground for us to move forward. I believe you have the heart to spark a real change to the sufferings of our fellowmen. I pray that your health will be at its summit to battle against the more valuable, salient, and pressing issues and challenges that we face as a people in the future. Because your loss is our loss and your win is our win.

Finally, I hope you lend your ears this time.

Sincerely yours,

Ben

Benre J. Zenarosa is a freelance writer. He’s the recipient of the 2016 Lasallian Scholarum Award for Outstanding Published Column Article on Youth and Education in a Nationally Circulated Publication. His works have appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Rappler.com, and The Nation. He’s from Makati City, Philippines.

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How Relevant is Manny Pacquiao Now?


By: Charles Jay

After Manny Pacquiao’s fight this past weekend, ESPN commentator Mark Kriegel declared that with his victory, he had “changed the configuration of boxing again.”

My first thought was that I didn’t know if I would characterize it quite like that, but there is no doubt that he is very much alive to do what he’s done so well throughout the last decade or so of his career, which is to make money, both for himself and his opponents.

Whether he is a real player in the battle for supremacy in his weight division is an entirely different question to be addressed.

Time and again, the ESPN announcers asserted that everybody wants to fight Pacquiao. Well, sure they do, because (a) He is a viable pay-per-view entity in a sport that doesn’t have many of them, and (b) The risk-vs.-reward quotient might be very much in their favor.

In other words, they can pick up a big win, and a lucrative one, in a fight they probably should not lose.

Pacquiao improved his record to 60-7-2 with his 39th early win in a 7th-round knockout of Lucas Matthysse, who was the WBA “regular” champion at 147 pounds. How significant was this victory? Well, that’s a good question, because Matthysse came in as the kind of opponent who seemed designed to make Pacquiao look good. He was slow, plodding, not all that skilled, not good enough defensively, no match for Pacquiao’s speed, and thus in no position to counterpunch.

He also didn’t exactly come to wage war. His approach appeared to be geared toward loading up for one power punch – which he is capable of delivering – but was seemingly frustrated that it didn’t happen. No, we can’t get into a fighter’s head, and we can’t gauge how hard certain punches hurt, but he looked as if he was looking for a way out after being hit with a half-hook, half-jab in the fifth round (almost immediately after showing more resistance than he had previously) and then stayed on one knee when one would have thought he could get up, following a Pacquiao uppercut in the seventh.

I thought Teddy Atlas was on the mark when he said that Pacquiao got the job done, and did what he had to do, but did not have a whole lot in front of him (RIGHT in front of him, we might add, for whole fight). You can’t really fault him for any of this, and he did show a lot of energy.

And don’t underestimate the moral boost he may have gotten by scoring his first win inside the distance since the Miguel Cotto fight in 2009.

So the natural question is “Who’s next?”

Pacquiao was asked that in the ring after the fight. He couldn’t just say “I’ll have to talk to my promoter,” because he is, for all intents and purposes, his own promoter now. So he didn’t get specific.

I think the truth is, he doesn’t really know.

There are three champions of note in the welterweight division:

* WBO – Terence Crawford 33-0, 24 KO’s

* IBF – Errol Spence 24-0, 21 KO’s

* WBA – Keith Thurman 28-0, 22 KO’s

Crawford would seem the most likely opponent of those three, because of the connection that still exists between Pacquiao and Top Rank’s Bob Arum. And for that reason, there is also the possibility of Vasyl Lomachenko, who is currently the WBA’s lightweight champ. For a fight like that to happen, there would have to be a meeting somewhere in the middle as far as weight is concerned.

Some might argue this, but Pacquiao isn’t likely to advance his career against any of those three welterweight champs. There is some intrigue against Loma, since there is a built-in handicap, as the Ukranian began his career as a featherweight and would be making quite a leap. But at the same time, he is the kind of whirlwind that Pacquaio may have been once, but isn’t now. The punches he landed against Matthyssee aren’t nearly as likely to find their target against any of these guys.

There is that other possibility, which is a rematch with Jeff Horn, who beat him controversially in Brisbane a year ago. There still has to be something sticking in Pacquiao’s craw about that fight, enough so that one of the reasons he cut himself loose from Freddie Roach – allegedly – is that Roach did not complain about Horn’s rough tactics during the fight, instead waiting until after the bout to do so (where it didn’t do a whole lot of good), then adding some other commentary that was largely unwanted.

Horn lost rather decisively to Crawford, but he has credentials for this purpose because of the win over Pacquiao. And almost as soon as Pac-Man got out of the ring, Horn was calling him out. There was a rematch clause in the contract, which Pacquiao did not exercise immediately because of his duties as a senator in the Philippines. And Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, thinks that Pacquiao’s performance this past weekend makes his guy’s win look all that much better.

Maybe so, but according to reports, including one coming out of the Los Angeles Times, Pacquiao might try to give it a go in the United States again to fight one of Arum’s guys. He’s got problems with the IRS, which will take some of his money, so I’ll believe it when I see it.

And besides, the big edge for Manny in any negotiations is that HE is the pay-per-view draw, and thus the gateway to big money. None of these five prospective opponents we’ve mentioned can say that they have carried a pay-per-view event. That means Pacquiao has the ability to dictate deal points like where the fight would be held, and Arum admitted as much. And his “independence” as a promoter unto himself might make his word final.

We know that Horn, at this moment, is in the midst of talks with Anthony Mundine, the ex-rugby player who has held a WBA super middleweight title and a WBC and WBA super welterweight title. This fight would presumably be at 154 pounds, and Horn would be expected to come out the winner. He’ll also make upwards of $4 million, because these guys can fill a stadium.

So he’s got the luxury of being able to grab a big payday even after a pretty one-sided loss, something a lot of guys don’t have. But even if that fight happens, I wouldn’t disqualify a subsequent fight with Pacquiao, in or out of Australia. Remember, none of the fighters who are bigger threats to Pac-Man are enough of a draw that they would necessarily steer him away from a fight with Horn, from a dollars-and-cents perspective. While Pacquiao-Horn II may not be of ultimate importance on the world stage, it will be extremely important to Manny’s constituency (pardon the pun), which would be pretty sizable.

And in every fighter’s mind, there is that thought of “getting the win back” when they think it was unfairly snatched from them.

This decision is very much in Pacquiao’s hands. He IS the promoter, isn’t he?

And you can bet those aforementioned world-beaters will be keenly interested in what he decides.

Considering how they’re are all thought to be emerging superstars, maybe Manny Pacquiao IS the most relevant guy out there – at least for the time being.

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What’s Next for Pacquiao?


By: Oliver McManus

The clock was ticking, the guard began to change as star after star began to fade into the background but an ever present constant in the boxing hemisphere, Manny Pacquiao, was determined to shift the sands of time back into his favour last weekend as he faced Lucas Matthysse, in Malaysia, for yet another world title.

“He’s too old”, the doubters said. “Matthysse has too much power”, cried the naysayers. “Getting rid of Roach was a mistake”, echoed those who questioned Pac Man.

He paid no attention to the script, setting about what can only be described as a demolition job in crushing the Argentine in a manner akin to taking a hammer to a peanut. Matthysse landed a fair few half-decent punches but never looked like carrying a realistic threat to the legacy of Pacquiao and was dropped time after time before the contest was waived off in the seventh round.

What next for Pacquiao, then?

RETIREMENT

Seems harsh to suggest in the immediate aftermath of such a scintillating performance – his first knockout victory since 2009 – but retirement does seem to be a genuine option for the Filipino with the huge money making fights seemingly few and far between and with increasingly more risk to the ageing eight-weight world champion.

The legacy of Pacquiao is solidified with the defining moment seeming to always be characterised by his series of fights with Juan Manuel Marquez so there’s no real need for the legendary fighter to carry on and risk becoming a Roy Jones Jr figure – albeit at a higher level and not against guys such as Bobby Gunn, Rodney Moore and that respective ilk.

It’s not as though the 39 year old is without other options, boxing is very much a secondary focus as things stand in Pacquiao’s life with his priority being politics – elected as a senator in his home country, Pacquiao has a minimum term until 2022 which, in itself, makes preparing and organising fights relatively difficult.

And let’s be clear this was probably Pacquiao’s best performance in six or seven years and there will always be the eternal question regarding his age and stamina – he proved his doubters wrong on Saturday but as we saw against Horn there is a distinct blueprint for beating Pacquiao and he’s ripe for the taking – so what better a night than to call it quits, retire as a world champion with plaudits aplenty.

AMIR KHAN

On the distinct polar opposite vein you could argue that because Pacquiao looked so good that in itself is all you need to back-up a call for him to continue – whether that’s papering up the cracks or not is something we’ll find out as and when future bouts happen – and an immediate fight that springs to mind is Amir Khan.

Big in the States and big in the United Kingdom, Amir Khan is of an ideal profile for a mega fight with mega dollars to boot – it could also see Pacquiao in the United Kingdom for the first time though such is the statue of the guy we’d likely only see him for a press conference over here as opposed to the actual bout.

Let’s not forget that the pair were scheduled to fight on April 23rd last year in the United Arab Emirates before the bout was called off but the desire to see the two meet in the ring has not dampened and if anything the flame has only burned brighter since Khan’s successful comeback.

For Khan, who has more options than Kell Brook, this is a perfect opportunity to return to the world title scene and, in all honesty, it’s possibly the easiest champion he’d have to face in the division which is saying quite something.

Amir has been there, too, he’s no stranger to these big fights and even though he lost, viciously, to Canelo, he put up a really good showing and there’s no doubt that against Pacquiao we could witness a tremendous, 50-50 fight with styles meshing.

From that knockout loss to Canelo, mind, Pacquiao will be able to take immense confidence especially off the back of such a convincing beat-down of Lucas Matthysse. Couple in the notorious “glass chin” that Khan is often accused of having, the risk for Pacquiao would be relatively big but the reward would be phenomenal – Khan is possibly one of the biggest names that the Filipino could face whilst still possessing the tag as favourite.

For me this is a fight that simply has to happen.

VASYL LOMACHENKO

Dropping down a weight division to super lightweight there is the possibility of facing Vasyl Lomachenko in yet another HUGE fight – Lomachenko needs no introduction so I won’t bother giving him one but it’s fair to say that a fight of this magnitude would invoke memories of Pacman’s contest with Mayweather and supersede the sport of boxing in becoming a sheer event for the pubic, fans or not.

Loma is out until December at least following shoulder surgery and Pacquiao has hinted at wanting to drop back to super-lightweight for some time now so the build-up for the potential clash would no doubt capture the imagination of the boxing world.

A clash with Lomachenko is the only bout that could have a positive impact on how we look back on Pacquiao’s career in 10 years – any other opponents are merely extra icing on the already lavishly decorated cake that are his 23 years as a professional boxer – but the Ukrainian provides a test that is unlike any other, a living legend, a walking Hall-of-Famer, a fighter who is, frankly, a freak of nature.

Lomachenko would be the best opponent since Floyd Mayweather and there’s a reasonable argument to be made that he’d be the best opponent INCLUDING Floyd Mayweather, at least in retrospect, and would enter the fight as a favourite but if Pacquiao is determined to prove, once and for all, that he IS back then this is the sort of challenge he really needs to be looking at.

The question that gets raised when you talk about this fight – potentially held at catchweight – is whether Manny really looked that good against Matthysse or if he was simply the least washed up of the two boxers as whilst it was a very accomplished performance you’d be hard pushed to say the Matthysse that turned up was on his A game.

It’s a risk, yes, but is it a risk worth taking?

JEFF HORN

I’ve opted for Jeff Horn to fill this last section although I was tempted to select Terence Crawford instead but Horn gets the edge because there is history in that encounter, we all know what happened in Australia and this would be a perfect opportunity to silence his critics from that night and prove it was a fluke loss.

Over here in the United Kingdom endless repeats of their first fight were being shown on the broadcaster and, make no mistake, there wasn’t anything like the outrage shown in America with regards to the scoring but this is a fight that would sell, literally, to all four corners of the globe; you’ve got the Australian market who will be fervently routing for their home hero, the America’s backing Pacquiao and the Brit’s / European’s who love nothing more than a rematch with a bit of needle so in terms of marketability, this fight has it all.

Redemption is a factor that can never be over-stated because looking back on his career, Pacquiao is not a man who will be satisfied with a perceived injustice if there was a possibility to put such a situation to bed and we’ve seen immediately after their contest in February last year that Pacquiao wanted the rematch so his self-belief is there.

Horn, himself, is looking for an avenue back to the big time after getting soundly beaten by Crawford and the fight against Pacquiao is the instant avenue to go down because, for him, if he can pull of the “miracle” a second time then who can doubt him, immediately goes away all the criticism from their first encounter.

A snagging point in this whole deal is the style of Horn, it’s not exactly conducive to a performance that will knock your socks off because even if Pacquiao is able to control every second of every round, he’s going to emerge with a bruised and bloodied face such is the aggressive nature of the Australian – the less sound about his leading head, the better – so whilst emotionally and sentimentally the fight may be seen as a win, stylistically and in terms of future stock, it’s hard to see Pacquiao emerge looking any sharper than the fight at the weekend.

Time after time we’ve sat here and idolised about what could be next for such an icon of the sport and time after time he’s delivered the complete unexpected, the only thing we can ever take for granted with Manny Pacquiao is that he will never duck an opponent and he will always bring his all to a fight.

What more could you ask for from an all-time great? Wherever he goes next, even if he doesn’t fight again, let’s just take a minute to bask in his shadows because for now, at least, this warrior is taking a one-man stand against the surge of young pretenders and, boy, is he holding his own when everyone and their dog seems to be writing him off.

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Pacquiao Demolishes Matthysse In Seven


By: Sean Crose

Venezuela’s Carlos Canizalez, 20-0-1, opened up the ESPN+ live stream broadcast of the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse fight by facing China’s 1-0 Bin Lu at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday night (American time). The bout, which was for a WBA version of the flyweight title, started in exciting style, with both fighters engaging fully and trading powerful shots. By the end of the fourth, however, the defending champion, Canizalez, starting working effectively on his man.


Photo Credit: ESPN Twitter Account

By the middle of the fight it was clear that Canizalez was the stronger of the two while Lu Bin would occasionally reach in to land. Canizalez worked the body, and the by the ninth, Lu Bin was visibly weakening. Canizalez hammered his man again in the 11th. Lu Bin as game and not without skill, but he was still the victim of a technical knockdown in the round (the ropes held the man up). With just seconds left in the 12th , Canizalez sent his man to the mat. Lu Bin got up, but the referee stopped the fight.

Next up came a featherweight bout for another WBA title. Edivaldo Ortega, 26-1-1, of Mexico was facing the 21-0 Jhack Tempora for the vacant belt. Tempora came out swinging in the first. Right off the bat, the man was engaging in effective body work. Ortega looked better in the second, but Tempora ended the round rather strong. The first third of the fight proved to be tight and close, but Tempora looked to have the edge.

Ortega gained ground over the next few rounds, but by the sixth Tempora was able to work from range.

Things remained close…until the ninth when Tempora dropped his man. Ortega got up, but Tempora wasn’t going to let him go. Letting loose with this punches, Tempora stopped Ortega before round’s end.

It was time for the main event. Pacquiao, 59-7-2, stepped into the ring to face Matthysse, 39-4-0, for yet another WBA belt, this time in the welterweight division. Matthysse never had a chance. The Argentine landed well on several occasions, but Pacquiao proved to be a tsunami, completely overwhelming his man. The first round saw the Filipino dominating. Matthysse fought well enough in the second, but Pacquiao still had the edge. By the third, Matthysse was down for the first time. He got up, but Pacquiao was flurrying so aggressively that the titlist couldn’t mount anything consistent.

Still, Matthysse held his own in the fourth. He didn’t do enough to win the round, though. By the fifth, Pacquiao made his man take a knee. The sixth was a close, but not close enough to give to Matthysse. And by the seventh, it was all over. Anyone with eyes could see it was only matter of time, but at just over the two and a half minute mark of the round, Matthysse was sent to the mat for the last time. Pacquiao had his first knockout win in years.

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ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Pacquiao vs. Matthysse


By: William Holmes

On Saturday Manny Pacquiao will be co-promoting his next fight with Golden Boy Promotions at Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia and will be fighting in the United States on ESPN+. Pacquiao’s long time promoter, Top Rank, is involved with the distribution of the fight in the United States but is not assuming their normal promoting duties for Pacquiao.

Not only is Pacquiao not using the full services of Top Rank Promotions, but he’s also entering this fight without the assistance of his long time hall of fame trainer, Freddie Roach.

Pacquiao has already stated that this will not be his last fight, but a loss here could seriously hamper his drawing power as a money fighter. He’s also facing a strong puncher with knockout power in the welterweight division.

Three other title fights are also on this card. Carlos Canizales will be defending his WBA “Regular” Junior Flyweight Title against Bin Lu. Moruti Mthalane and Muhammad Waseem will be fighting for the vacant IBF Flyweight Title. Also, Jhack Tepora will be facing Edivaldo Ortega for the vacant WBA Interim Featherweight Title.

The following is a preview of the main fight of the night between Lucas Matthysse and Manny Pacquiao for the WBA “Regular” Welterweight title.

Lucas Matthysse (39-4) vs. Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2); WBA “Regular” Welterweight Title

Manny Pacquiao has been featured on 23 PPV fights and for a long time was one of boxing’s most popular draws. However, he’s thirty nine years old and turns forty in December and this will be his second consecutive fight not on PPV.

His drawing power in the United States is waning, and he’s taking on a risky fight after his controversial, and outright terrible, decision loss to Jeff Horn.

Pacquiao is four years older than Matthysse and will be giving up an inch in height and two inches in reach. Pacquiao has 38 knockouts in his resume and Matthysse has 36, but Pacquiao hasn’t had a stoppage victory since he defeated Miguel Cotto in 2009.

Pacquiao only fought one time in 2017 and twice in 2016, but Matthysse has only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017. Both boxers haven’t been very active recently.

Matthysse power can be devastating. He has defeated the likes of Tewa Kiram, Emmanuel Taylor, Ruslan Providnikov, Roberto Ortiz, John Monlina Jr., Lamont Peterson, Mike Dallas Jr., and DeMarcus Corley. He has disputable losses to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander and clearer losses to Danny Garcia and Viktor Postol.

Pacquiao doesn’t fight with the same blind rage that he used to when he was younger, but he still possess good speed and movement. He has four losses in his past nine fights. Some of his more notable losses were to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley Jr., and Erik Morales.

His wins include Jessie Vargas, Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Osca De La Hoya, Maco Antonio Barrera, and Erik Morales.

Father time is catching up with Pacquiao and he’s not taking on an easy opponent in a non-ppv fight. Luckily for Pacquiao Matthysse isn’t as big of a welterweight as Jeff Horn, but he still packs a lot of power in his punch.

Can Pacquiao still hang with the best in the welterweight division? A lot of boxing pundits are saying no. His fight with Matthysse should give us a more definitive answer to that question.

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Mano a Mano, Manny a Mano


By: Oliver McManus

Mano a mano, or should we say Manny a mano? Basically what I’m trying to say is Manny Pacquaio is BACK in the ring this weekend as he vies for yet another world title – the WBA Welterweight belt – in a battle with, Argentine champion, Lucas Martin Matthysse.

Fighting for the first time since his, allegedly controversial, loss to Jeff Horn last July, Pacquiao is again fighting away from home with this super-bout taking place in the Middle-Eastern hub of Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

The Filipino eight-weight world champion will be competing in his 69th bout and aged 39, nearly 40, there is a genuine concern that whilst he may still love being in the ring, the ring may not love having him in there and I say that because against Horn, whether you like it or not, he looked a shadow of his former self with his defence being easily penetrated, his footwork visibly slower and his head getting muddled relatively easily.

Of course being of such a supreme ability means that even the slightest dip in quality will be magnified a thousand times and let’s not suddenly believe that Pac Man is a bad fighter overnight, he’s not, he still possesses quality that many fighters could only ever dream of and what you can never takeaway is the fight intelligence that the 5’5.5 fighter has.

Most notable, in terms of differences, is the lack of Freddie Roach in the corner of the Filipino with Pacquiao seeking to go down a different route despite having secured his highest of successes with his iconic trainer and has, instead, opted to have Buboy Fernandez coach him in the build up to this fight.

A natural talent burgeoning with aggression and a glee for the sport, Pacquiao will go about this bout no different to any that came previously, he will seek to dictate the pace of the fight from the early stages, cutting off the ring whilst jumping in and out of all four corners and flurrying his trademark body punches with grit and desire.

The question mark around such a star is not whether he still possesses the ability, he will always have that, but rather one of how faded he has become? If anyone can beat father time, however, the father of boxing is surely that guy.

For a man coming off the back of such a bloody, brutal loss to Jeff Horn, Matthysse is one hell of a risk with La Maquina being one of the most vicious punchers currently in action, certainly a man with bad intentions who goes into fights wholeheartedly expecting a knockout.

Widely touted as the next big thing, Matthysse’s career took a bit of a bump when he was narrowly out-pointed by Danny Garcia in September 2013 and whilst the rebuild from that went well he was comfortably beaten by Viktor Postol, via 10th round TKO, in October of 2015.

This is a guy who loses to the elite and only the elite – Zab Judah and Devon Alexander are the only other names to have bested the 35 year old – and in his hand, boy does he possess some power. There’s an argument to be made that Matthysse has hands made of bricks such is the extent of his demolition.

Against Tewa Kiram, at The Forum, in January of this year we witnessed an incredible display as with the right hand sending Kiram down to the canvas in the eight before a murderous left finished the job within the same stanza to set up this legacy-defining contest with Pacquiao.

At his best when involved with a brawl, the Argentinian is capable of making even the dirtiest, feistiest, most fearsome of scraps look like a majestic work of art with his elusive body movement, tempestuous shot selection and vicious intent marking him out as a guy you do not want to let into any sort of a rhythm.

This reminds me of a gentle watercolour of a raging bull running through the streets of Pamplona, Pacquiao the artist, Matthysse the bull. But who is it that can claim the glory for such a visual spectacle, the artist or the bull?

We’ll find out on Saturday.

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Pacquiao Understudy and Sparring Partner George Kambosos Jr. Puts In The Rounds, Eyes His Own World Title Campaign


By Vishare Mooney

He’s been busy. In the last 14 months, undefeated Greek Australian fighter George ‘Ferocious’ Kambosos Jr. (14-0, 8 KOs), left Australia to train in the U.S., made his American debut with a stunning first round knockout of Jose Forero and trained in two world title camps (Pacquiao vs. Horn, Pacquiao vs. Matthysse). With his eyes clearly set on the prize, a world title, Kambosos Jr. has also found a friend and mentor in Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), boxing’s most heralded 8-division world champion, having now sparred over 110 rounds with the legendary fighter.

The 25-year-old Kambosos Jr., who shares a coach with Pacquiao in former world title contender Justin Fortune and who is managed by Lou DiBella, will fight Filipino fighter JR “Star Boy” Magboo (17-1-2, 8 KOs) in the featured undercard of the Pacquiao-Matthysse WBA welterweight title fight in Kuala Lampur, this Saturday, July 14th on ESPN+. It was Pacquiao who insisted on adding his constant sparring partner, Kambosos Jr. on the already packed undercard roster. I caught up with Kambosos Jr. via videoconference, just days ahead of his fight and talked about his friendship with Manny, training regimen and goals for his own world title campaign.

Kambosos Jr. discussed why Pacquiao called on him again as a sparring partner. “I think he sees a younger version in myself, except for that I’m an orthodox fighter. We both train extremely hard, we both need to be pulled back by Justin Fortune, our coach at times to slow down. We both have the same mentality. He sees a young Manny Pacquiao in myself, so that’s how I got the opportunity. He wants to help my career as well. What better guy than the guy that’s done the most in boxing history” Kambosos Jr. added, “I think Manny will play a vital role in my future and my career, along side my promoter and my team.”

The camp was his second in 14 months. Kambosos Jr. was part of the Pacquiao vs. Horn team last summer. He said he is “still sore from the disappointment of the Horn fight” and adjustments have been made this time around. “We trained a lot smarter, pulled back on certain things, take a day off for rest, do some different kind of recovery, take a lighter session in the gym. I feel fresher during this camp. I feel great and I know Manny does as well. He will be ready for the fight on Sunday. There will be no excuses. Everything is ready to go.”

When Kambosos Jr. fights this weekend, it will have only been ten weeks since his last fight in May. He said it is the fastest turn around of his career and he likes it that way. He had trained hard for his American debut against Jose Forero, amassing over 150 sparring rounds prior to the swift win by TKO. By June, he was once again on a plane to the Philippines to reunite with Pacquiao. And after their first sparring session, got put on the undercard.

I asked Kambosos Jr. if he was at all nervous about his upcoming fight. “No, I have been sparring an all time great, the god of fighting. He’s Manny Pacquiao. I have been going toe to toe with Pacquiao not only on this camp but the last camp, that’s like over hundred something rounds together. I am more than ready for this fight. I’m excited for the challenge. And I know that I can’t afford any slip-ups. I need to make another good statement.”

What does he know of his opponent, JR Magboo? “He’s a tough Filipino. He’s 17-1. Knows his way around the ring. I research every fighter that I come across. I even research guys that I’m not fighting and could be fighting in the future so I look at everything. I’ve trained so hard I feel like I’m fighting Matthysse alongside Pacquiao.”

“As soon as I get in some shots, he (Magboo) is going to feel everything that I have done in camp and I’m coming for the knock out – that’s what I’m chasing. “

Kambosos Jr. seems to be keenly aware of the significance of this moment, his time with Pacquiao and his boxing career trajectory. On his quest to a world title, he has come a long way from being the chubby, bullied kid in Australia. “I was an obese kid, bullied, picked on, always picked last. If there was a joke it was going to be on me, So I just wanted to change my life. As soon as I started doing boxing the weight came off, my confidence got much better. I had a few school fights. Hurt them, beat up a few people, they realized, ok this guy can fight, we’re going to leave him alone. And now the rest if history.”

“Now look where I am, world ranked fighter, huge fan base, Manny Pacquiao’s chief sparring partner. I get to fight on a huge show like this…it’s incredible the journey I’ve had. But you know, I already envision the future I will have, not only as a world champion, but multiple champion, unified champion.”

Kambosos Jr. trains for each fight as if he were in a world title fight. “Before I had my pro debut, a good friend of mine said, look, now you’re a pro, treat every fight like a world title fight because it is. Every step is getting close to the world title. That’s the ambition, that’s the end goal. “

“I have been fortunate to be a part of proper world title camps. And so I have taken what Manny does in his training and added it to my game. I know what it takes at that level. I have trained alongside a legend in the sport, and I’m ready to have my own world title camp in the very near future.”

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Oscar De La Hoya Quotes Ahead of Pacquiao-Matthysse


Oscar De La Hoya:

Lucas is a strong and determined fighter. Believe me that he is a very determined fighter. The mental aspect is the most important aspect of this fight. We know that Lucas Matthysse works very hard. They call him “La Maquina” for a reason. He is still training like never before. The fact that he always wanted this fight, a dream fight for him—believe me he will be in the best condition for this. He is very focused. This is an even fight. This is a dangerous but winnable fight. These two fighters love pleasing the fans. They are come-forward fighters. This fight will have a lot of action.

A lot of people think that Lucas Matthysse is just a knockout artist. But he’s an intelligent fighter too. He knows how to box and counterpunch. This fight is interesting in terms of styles. The people who really know boxing know that Matthysse can change his style and even confuse him. He may even be able to confuse him and land some counterpunches.


Photo Credit: Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions

Pacquiao has a very unique style. When I fought him, I thought he was going to get tired. He never got tired. So, I don’t know what Pacquiao we are going to see for this fight. I don’t know how distracted he may be. I do know that Matthysse is fully focused and determined. This is the fight of his life. It’s all going to depend on how Pacquiao reacts when the first bell rings. Will it be a distracted Pacquiao? Or a Pacquiao that everyone is used to seeing? That’s why the odds are 2-1. It is a great fight.

I was already a promoter when I fought him. So, I’ve always been very optimistic that I would still be working with Manny after so many years. I always felt that life comes around full circle and puts us together. The fact that Manny has his own promotional company and the fact that Golden Boy Promotions has been involved in so many of his fights made me optimistic that we would work together again. I’m still hoping that we promote more fights together. Once he’s retired, we can do a lot more together.

I noticed Pacquiao was special when part of the promotions of Pacquiao vs. Barrera. What I saw was his determination. His conditioning was incredible. His explosiveness was incredible. He had a great work ethic. He was very well prepared. I really don’t know how he is now. In boxing, you’re as good as your last fight. That’s what boxing is. That’s why this fight is important for Pacquiao to show that he is still the same Manny Pacquiao. You have to perform and show the people that you still have it. This is a sink or swim type of fight for both guys.

If I were Lucas, I would not get frustrated because Pacquiao can frustrate you. He can do that because he throws so many punches. Lucas has to be cool, calm and collected. He has to force the action. He has to show Manny that he is younger, stronger and fresher. If you don’t show that to Manny, he can walk all over you. That’s who he is. That’s why he’s so good.

Manny Pacquiao:

I am very proud of promoting stronger and diplomatic cultural ties with our Asian neighbors. I would like to thank our friends at Golden Boy Promotions, represented by our friend Oscar De La Hoya. I am ready. I have never predicted the outcome of any of my fights, but this training camp is special for many reasons. I am motivated. I am happy. I am hungry. I am excited to show the world a new Manny Pacquiao on July 15 (July 14 in the US) at the Axiata Arena here in Kuala Lumpur.”

Joel Diaz:

I’m grateful to be a part of this event. I want to thank Manny Pacquiao and his team. He is a great fighter and a legend. His team is great and professional. I want to thank Golden Boy for giving me the opportunity to work with a lot of elite fighters as is the case now with Lucas Matthysse.

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Pac’s Back- And Top Rank is Still Around


By: Charles Jay

I imagine many of you have Facebook, with a healthy number of boxing friends on your news feed. What I see on mine, constantly, are fighters who can’t come up with enough complaints about promoters. Dirty, greedy people – who needs them, right? They show equal disdain for matchmakers and booking agents. Many of them are out of work, boxing-wise, which might explain some of the vitriol. Yes, their frustration is at times understandable, but the truth of the matter is, not a lot of fighters have made any money at all without someone promoting a fight.

I usually have a very simple answer for them – hey, there’s no law against you guys putting on your own show, or pooling your resources to do so.

There almost was, you know; back when Sen. John McCain was pushing his bill for national regulation of boxing, he had to agree at one point to a compromise with his Democratic counterpart Harry Reid of Nevada, who was being lobbied by promoters within his own jurisdiction who were protecting their own interests. So the idea of fighters being able to being their own promoters was taken off the table (except for those who were grandfathered in).

That particular bill never passed.

As a result, fighters continue to be allowed to both manage themselves and also promote themselves, and those who have reached a sufficient level of success can pull it off. We’ve seen this happening in recent years – Lennox Lewis had Lion Promotions, and of course Floyd Mayweather has his own promotional outfit, although he hired other promoters to do the “nuts and bolts” on the events. Winky Wright, a recent Hall of Fame inductee, ventured into this somewhat less successfully.

Most famously, Oscar De La Hoya, in the process of breaking away from Bob Arum and Top Rank, formed Golden Boy Promotions to create some independence for himself, and while his popularity as an active fighter was essential to leveraging dates out of networks, which was necessary to help the company take off, Golden Boy has certainly survived beyond that and become a full-fledged entity on its own. Mayweather Promotions would like to be able to duplicate that for the long term.

This won’t make me popular in promotional circles, but every fighter of any stature may want to consider such a thing; again, if they have the leverage to make it work. Which brings us to the case of Manny Pacquiao.

Some of you may not be aware of this, but Pacquiao has actually been a “promoter” of sorts for years, and through his company, MP Promotions, he’s had a deal with Top Rank that brought him something in the neighborhood of 27.5% of all revenues from his fights (that includes not only pay-per-view, but also live gate, sponsorship, foreign TV, etc.) and I imagine, this was for the most part against a guarantee. In effect, he was a promotional partner.

That was not really a “risk” situation for him. He brought the “talent” portion, while Top Rank took care of everything that was outside of the ring.

Now it’s a bit different. MP Promotions is the lead promoter for Saturday’s fight with WBA “regular” welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KO’s) that is taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And there’s a little more risk involved, as in risk that the fight would fall out unless Pacquiao’s company was able to guarantee the $3 million that was to go to Matthysse and his promoter, Golden Boy, and put it in escrow. Reportedly that led to some anxious moments, although the Pacquiao camp expresses that it was never any problem.

This kind of arrangement came about because of a dispute about Pacquaio’s contract with Top Rank. PacMan announced in March that the paper had expired. As his attorney explained it, the fight with Jeff Horn in Australia was the last one in the deal. Bob Arum maintained otherwise. And this came in the aftermath of an offer made by Arum for Pacquiao to fight Mike Alvarado on the undercard of Horn’s fight with Terrence Crawford, which he considered an “insult.”

There was a little mud-slinging from one of Pacquiao’s publicists, Aquiles Zonio, who said that Arum was trying to disrupt the fight by planting seeds of doubt with the Malaysian interests who had put the money together, and that in the past, knowing that Pacquiao had irreconcilable problems with the IRS, he had “sabotaged” efforts to fight outside the States.

So as you can see, there’s some bad blood circulating.

But not enough to prevent business from forging ahead.

You see, like some of the other fighters who wanted to turn into promoters, and who may have become do-it-yourselfers only to facilitate their own fights and nothing else, Pacquiao realizes that he doesn’t really have the infrastructure to carry off a first-class promotion from Point A to Point Z.

So while we’re not sure what the whole contract status really is, Top Rank is still around.

According to Arum, his company is there to “handle the logistics (through my old USA Network colleague, Brad Jacobs), handle the undercard and handle the television,” which means they’re handling an awful lot. He wasn’t going to make a move, however, until Pacquiao got his money in place, and everybody tells me he wouldn’t have been too upset if that hadn’t happened, since he would have liked to put together Matthysse with Crawford.

And so we move forward. Pacquiao has the fight being simulcast on all three major TV networks in the Philippines, ensuring maximum visibility. And in the U.S., Arum has placed it on ESPN Plus, where he gets $2 million a show. Sales for that app are said to be slow, so we’re not really sure how many viewers they’re actually going to have.

This is not PPV-dependent, and Pacquiao, who is said to have pocketed $160 million for his fight with Floyd Mayweather, will probably get in the neighborhood of $10 million for this. But then again, he’s the promoter, right? So he could also make more on the “upside.” And he’ll be without Freddie Roach for the first time in a while, as Buboy Fernandez took over the camp.

If Manny wins, there is almost no doubt that he’ll continue to fight. And if he does, we wonder if these little battles with Top Rank will continue to take place.

QUICK NEWS AND NOTES: Speaking of fighters who became promoters, here’s one who DOES handle the whole show, all the way down to the details – Steve Forbes, the former IBF junior lightweight champion, has announced that he is back in Portland with his company, 2Pound Sports & Entertainment, as they will do their second show at the Jackson Armory. The maiden voyage in December combined amateur and pro bouts. Forbes won his title in 2000 over John Brown and lost consecutive decisions to Oscar De La Hoya and Andre Berto back in 2008………………

Jermaine Franklin (16-0, 13 KO’s), the 2014 National Golden Gloves super heavyweight champion, will try to stay unbeaten on Friday night at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit as he faces local guy Craig Lewis (14-2-1, 8 KOs) in a ten-rounder. “He keeps getting better and better and better,” says promoter Mike Acri of Franklin, who is from Saginaw, MI and recorded two amateur wins over Cam F. Awesome, who won the trials for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team…………….

ONE Championship, which regularly engages in MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai competitions and is a huge success in the Asian TV market, has announced that it is entering the boxing arena, and they have pulled off a major coup by inking a deal with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the WBC super flyweight (115-lb.) champion, who has two significant wins over Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, which puts him on many of the top ten “pound for pound” lists. Pacquiao bought a stake in the company back in 2014.

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Pacquiao Returns (Without Roach) To Face Matthysse


By: Sean Crose

They were the hottest team in all of boxing. The Filipino legend, and the former pro from working class Massachusetts. The ailing mentor and his explosive protege. Yes, Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach made for quite the duo for a very long period of time. Determined to make it in the sport of boxing, Pacquiao traveled across the Pacific Ocean to the United States, where Roach found an oversize diamond in the rough. The rest, as they say, is history. Countless titles. Countless wars. Explosive finishes. And money, tons and tons of money. Now, though, the relationship between the aging great, Pacquiao, and his longtime trainer, Roach, is over – at least temporarily.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

This weekend, those who are willing to pay money for the pleasure of ESPNs streaming service, ESPN+, will be able to watch Pacquiao face off against fellow aging fighter Lucas Matthysse of Argentina. As Yahoo’s Kevin Iole puts it, the bout will “likely will be seen by far fewer than 100,000 viewers in the U.S. ESPN has no places to release subscriber numbers for ESPN+, or viewership of any particular event.” The fight, which is going down in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was supposed to be on pay per view, but money problems prevented that from happening. No doubt the ratings would be huge if Pacquiao and Matthysse battled on regular ESPN, but the days of such things may be over. After making a celebrated agreement to showcase boxing on regular cable, promoter Bob Arum and ESPN have apparently decided fans are going to pay to see the big names once again (the impressive, and it is impressive, ESPN+ only runs about five bucks a month – for now).

Times have indeed changed. This might be most clearly evident in the absence of Roach from this event. It will be strange not seeing the man in Pacquiao’s corner, offering advice to his prized fighter while refusing to let Parkinson’s disease keep him from plying his own trade. Rather than having Roach in his corner right now, Pacquiao has placed his long time sidekick, Buboy Frenandez, in the general’s slot. The results of this pairing may be interesting, for the truth is that reports of Pacquiao’s complete collapse as a top fighter might have been greatly exaggerated over the past few years. On top of that, Matthysse has been on a bit of a comeback as of late and is rightfully known as a warrior in the ring. Will Buboy deliver if things get searing? Or has Pacquiao more or less decided to be his own cornerman, a combination fighter/trainer, who only needs people to offer him water and cut treatment if need be?

What’s perhaps most jarring about all this is the fact that Pacquiao seems – on the surface of things – to have been rather cold to Roach, his ailing former mentor. Roach reportedly was never informed by Pacquiao of Pacquiao’s decision. It just happened. Word is Manny was unhappy with Roach, but no one really knows what the truth is. The one reality, it seems, is that professional courtesy was not involved with Pacquiao’s decision to move on sans Roach for the Matthysse fight. For what it’s worth, Pacquiao says he might employ Roach again. Pacquiao’s career has taken a strange turn, however, and it’s unclear how many fights he has left. He’s a senator in his homeland, and he’s not getting any younger.

As for Matthysse – he probably couldn’t have hoped for a better match. The man was high on the lists of many analysts until he got bested by Philly’s Danny Garcia in 2013. Then, several years later, he was beaten soundly by the skilled Ukrainian Viktor Postol. He took some time off, and has since returned with two wins, his last one being a knockout of undefeated Tewa Kiram in January. He’s an exciting fighter, Matthysse, one who may make things exciting when he faces Pacquiao, whose last bout was a highly controversial loss to hometown hero Jess Horn in Brisbane, Austrailia last summer.

Pacquiao (59-7-2) will be facing Matthysse (39-4-0) for Matthysse’s version of a WBA welterweight title when the opening bell rings on Saturday night. The ESPN+ broadcast begins at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time.

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Does Manny Pacquiao Have One Last Fight in Him?


By: Bryant Romero

Does the Great Manny Pacquiao have one last great fight in him? Promoter Bob Arum posed that question to fans on his twitter account and the boxing world will find out this Saturday in an unusual site for a Manny Pacquiao fight. Kuala Lumpur at the Axiata Arena in Malaysia is the site for Pacquiao’s next fight when he takes on dangerous puncher and current World Champion Lucas Martin Mathysse (39-4, 36 KOs) in what should be a thrilling fight between two fighters who’s best days may be behind them. Pacquaio (59-7-2, 38 KOs) is seeking his 60th victory in what has been a legendary but now declining career where he’s no longer the superstar he once was, but is out to prove that he was the true winner in his controversial loss last July to Jeff Horn and perhaps there is still a couple of great nights left in his incredible career.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

Not only is the site of the fight different compared to many other Pacquiao fight weeks, but the Filipino icon is the lead promoter of the event. Bob Arum and Top Rank are simply just distributing the fight in the United States and it will be shown on the ESPN + app, which has indicated that perhaps Pacquiao and Arum seem to be at odds with each other. Pacquaio continues to tell the boxing press that he’s no longer affiliated with Top Rank and is currently a free agent. Arum of course has downplayed the situation and maintains that his company still has a working relationship with Manny.

This bout of course was not without controversy as in the weeks leading up into the event there were concerns that the event would be cancelled altogether as Pacquiao and his team missed numerous deadlines for payments. It wasn’t until early this month that Matthysse and his team were assured the money will put in place for his purse for the fight and now the fight is a go with Manny only slight favorite to defeat La Maquina.

Many believe Pacquiao defeated Jeff Horn last summer, but just 4 months shy from his 40th birthday, a long layoff, and facing a big puncher. It could be anyone’s guess on what Pacquaio truly has left for the 69th bout of his career.

Pacquiao fired his longtime trainer Freddie Roach and perhaps it was the right move now that Roach is no longer one of top trainers in the game. Buboy Fernandez his long time friend is now is head trainer and Buboy feels we will see a hungrier more dangerous Pacquiao, which could spell trouble for Matthysse.

Obviously, the Filipino legend is nowhere near the fighter he was 8 years ago, but Manny is still a capable fighter with loads of experience, speed, footwork, and tremendous skills. Expect an impressive performance from Manny as he will notch his 60th victory and perhaps even end his knockout drought in a fun fight with Matthysse in Malaysia.

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