Tag Archives: manny

The Other Spectrum of the Mayweather Curse


By: Kirk Jackson

The former pound-for-pound boxing king may no longer be regarded as an active boxer, but he remains a fixture in combat sports.

Whether rumored to rematch mixed-martial-arts star Conor McGregor, or set to face another undefeated star in the mma world Khabib Nurmagomedov, Floyd Mayweather remains an active headline.


Photo Credit: Floyd Mayweather Twitter Account

And those in tune with the living boxing legend may be privy to “Mayweather Curse.”

What’s the “Mayweather Curse” you ask? It’s simple, much to do about poking fun at coincidental instances revolving around Floyd Mayweather and some of his rivals over the past decade or so.

Noted rivals Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Ronda Rousey, Anderson Silva, Dana White and Conor McGregor appear to be victims of the “Mayweather Curse.”

They’ve all engaged in escalated trash-talk and some engaged in battle via the boxing ring.

Anderson Silva is no longer really a fixture within the mma world as far as competing, Rousey suffered two consecutive devastating knockouts in the UFC before parlaying a career into the world of fictional wrestling.

Financially McGregor is raking in the big bucks and doing exceptional; from a professional fighting stand point his career is in question after losing to Nurmagomedov and Mayweather consecutively.

De La Hoya has personal demons on public display in the news unfortunately, along with being linked to inappropriate, racist emails denigrating another person.
Pacquiao suffered defeat against Jeff Horn after losing to Mayweather and isn’t a strong fixture within the boxing scene as of now. Some of that is nature running its course as he has a long professional career and is heading towards the finish line.

Point being, Mayweather’s rivals have generally been on the wrong end of his wrath. These events could purely be coincidental right?

But here’s a different take on this “Mayweather curse.”

His public persona is that of a man boasting about his finances, women and lifestyle. He’s the Ric Flair of professional fighting.

He lived to that moniker for years on end; dominating across five weight classes, spanning across three decades, while collecting large checks and world titles.

To reach and maintain that level of greatness, one must be dedicated, hard-working, must be ego-driven and the mental capacity to place everything together.

But what comes with that is an addiction to fame, an addiction to the spotlight, the desire for attention and it’s fair to suggest Mayweather is a victim of that.

Eventually nature runs its course, nothing lasts forever and empires fall. The Mayweather Curse – as it applies to Mayweather is the curse of wanting more even though time has expired. But that want may end up damaging the foundation of what your success is based off of.

Boxing Legend Sugar Ray Leonard has a great quote in an interview with Nathan Rush from Athlon Sports & Life regarding life after boxing, the addiction to fame and difficulty finding purpose once a fighter realizes their career is over.

“It’s so seductive. The fame and the fortune — especially if you’re of that marquee level. The fame and fortune is so seductive that you don’t want to let it go. You always believe you have one more fight left in you,” said Leonard.

“And that’s the fault of most fighters, myself included. We think we have one more. And the fact that we train, we train hard. Training is one thing, that’s the easy part. Getting mentally prepared is another. Because we live the life of the caviar, private planes, suites in hotels and then we try to be that hungry fighter, that gladiator, that warrior who has to dig deep and show intestinal fortitude. But you don’t have it like that anymore. You just don’t have it that way. It’s a natural thing that we all lose at some point. We’re competitive but we’re not that competitive.”

Mayweather shocked the world when he revealed that he had signed with Japanese mixed martial arts promotions company RIZIN Fighting Federation to fight 20-year-old Japanese kick boxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve in Saitama.

The undefeated 41-year-old has never fought professionally in mixed-martial-arts and it has yet to be decided what format and rules the fight would follow.
Mayweather’s last bout was in 2017 when he snapped a two-year retirement to pull off a TKO win in ten rounds over UFC superstar Conor McGregor, running his record to 50-0 and most importantly earning close to $300 million for the event he co-promoted.

While boxing rules restrict bouts to the use of fists, mma rules incorporate kicks, knees and elbow strikes, as well as wrestling, joint locks and chokes – all unfamiliar with Mayweather.

Mayweather is confident they would reach an agreement that would suit both fighters and appears confident with his abilities as an overall fighter.

“I can wrestle, I can wrestle a little bit. I can box a lot a bit,” Mayweather told Reuters. “We will just see. I can do it all. I can do anything if I set my mind to it.”

Nasukawa is contracted to RIZIN and competes in their championships in both mma and kickboxing.

Mayweather is stepping into another realm and it’s fair to suggest this is just another money grab. Questions remain as to how lucrative can this opportunity be for all parties involved and what are the lasting effects from this move?

Will other boxers follow suit and is Mayweather truly biting off more he can chew?

“I’ve been blessed to be in the sport a long time and to make over a billion dollars in the sport,” said Mayweather.

“But this particular bout is special as far as giving people something they’ve never seen before. I’m not really worried about the weight class or rules – it’s about me displaying my skills against another skillful fighter. I just want to entertain.”

Mayweather may be tempting fate, facing a fighter half his age with a skill-set he is unaccustomed to facing at the professional level.

The chances are he may get humbled in the form of a one-sided beating and or the money generated from this event may not be as significant as initially planned.

Essentially, the event must manifest before we can analyze the end result, but the desire for additional finances and attention may not lead towards the satisfying outcome Mayweather is seeking.

More Columns

Pacquiao to Speak at Oxford and Cambridge Universities


MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO has made a career out of taking opponents to school. He has done it 60 times inside a boxing ring. Now, boxing’s only eight-division world champion has accepted an invitation to return to school himself and speak at the Oxford Union on the campus of the University Oxford and the Cambridge Union, at the University of Cambridge on Monday, November 5, and Tuesday, November 6, respectively.

“To be invited to these beacons of higher learning to speak to their students is indeed a tremendous honor,” said Pacquiao. “I treasure moments like these where I can share my story and my culture, as well as exchange ideas, with the next generation of leaders.”

The Oxford Union has a rich history. Founded in 1823, it has grown to become the most prestigious student society in the world. The Oxford Union, the largest society at the University of Oxford, has hosted world leaders in every field, including Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Malcolm X, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Roger Bannister, and former U.S. Presidents Reagan, Nixon and Carter, to name a few.

Founded in 1815, the Cambridge Union is steeped in history, being the oldest debating and free speech society in the world, and the largest student society in the University of Cambridge. It too has hosted an impressive list of world leaders in every field, including Margaret Thatcher, Theodore Roosevelt, Stephen Hawking, Buzz Aldrin, Antonin Scalia, Ian McKellen, and Sebastian Coe.

Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. After serving two terms as congressman, Pacquiao was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez. A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America’s reigning Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao regained the welterweight title for a fourth time on July 15 by knocking out defending WBA world champion Lucas Matthyssee. The fight took place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duerte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad were in attendance, marking the first time two heads of state attended a championship-boxing event.

Pacquiao recently announced that he has entered into an exclusive agreement to work with manager / advisor Al Haymon. The new alliance will have team Pacquiao and Haymon working together to navigate the remainder of Pacquiao’s illustrious career.

Pacquiao’s first defense of the WBA welterweight world title will kick off the new partnership and will have him appear on the Premier Boxing Champions series. Pacquiao’s promotion company, MP Promotions, will promote all of his upcoming bouts under this new alignment with Haymon. MP Promotions will also work with Haymon to bring some of the best fighters from the Philippines and Asia to the United States to appear on the PBC series.

More Headlines

Senator Manny Pacquiao Joins Forces with Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions as He Prepares for Ring Return


Senator MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, announced today that he has entered into an exclusive agreement to work with manager / advisor Al Haymon.The new alliance will have team Pacquiao and Haymon work together to navigate the remainder of his illustrious career. Pacquiao’s first defense of the World Boxing Association welterweight world title will kick off the new partnership and will have Pacquiao appear on the Premier Boxing Champions series. Pacquiao’s promotion company, MP Promotions, will promote all of his upcoming bouts under this new alignment with Haymon.


Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account

MP Promotions will also work with Al Haymon to bring some of the best fighters from the Philippines and Asia to the United States to appear on the PBC series.

“I’m very excited about this new chapter in my career and I’m looking forward to a fresh start. I’m reinvigorated by the prospects of bringing up new fighters under the MP Promotions banner,” said Pacquiao. “My team will work closely with Al Haymon for the remainder of my career to deliver the most anticipated fights with the top PBC fighters. Those are the fights the fans want to see and the ones I want to have to close out my career.”

“MP Promotions is very excited about this last phase of Senator Manny’s Hall of Fame Career. We look forward to launching this new relationship with Manny’s first world title defense,” said Joe Ramos, who heads MP Promotions. “I would also like to acknowledge matchmaker Sean Gibbons, legal counsel Tom Falgui, and Senator Manny’s aide Steve Jumalon for their tireless efforts and invaluable advice.”

Pacquiao, a three-time Fighter of the Year and Boxing Writers Association of America’s reigning Fighter of the Decade, will return to the ring early next year. The fight, which will be announced soon, will be co-promoted by MP Promotions and TGB Promotions.

With Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duerte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad in attendance (the first time two heads of state attended a championship boxing event), Pacquaio regained the welterweight title for a fourth time on July 15 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia by knocking out defending WBA champion Lucas Matthyssee in the seventh round.

Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. After serving two terms as congressman, Pacquiao was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez.

More Headlines

Pacquiao-Broner Likely For January 19 in Las Vegas; Fox, Showtime In Play


By Jake Donovan

While the bout itself has yet to be formally announced, it’s entirely possible that by as early as Tuesday the heavily rumored showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner could very well have a fight date, location and televised platform.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission will meet on Tuesday, October 23 for its monthly agenda hearing, which covers reviews of past events and approvals for requested future business conducted in the state. Among the budget items is a list of three requested fight dates for TGB Promotions, with plans to stage events on January 19, February 16 and March 9 all at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.


Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account

A Pacquiao-Broner showdown has been targeted for January 19, according to several sources who’ve declined to speak any further on the matter—even off the record—and with Las Vegas as the most likely location.

All three dates are currently slated for the rebranded version of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox, a development first reported by RingTV.com senior writer Mike Coppinger. PBC renewed long-term deals with Fox and Showtime, both of whom remain very interested in airing this event although BoxingInsider.com has learned through three credible sources that no decision has yet been made and likely won’t until the fight is formally announced.

The first Fox prime telecast under the renewed PBC on Fox series is currently slated for December 22, with plans to run shows once per month. There also exists the possibility of one or more of those dates moving to a Fox-distributed Pay-Per-View event, according to details revealed in the initial announcement this past September.

Speculation has already begun about Pacquiao-Broner likely going that route, as the price tag that would come with such a fight would figure to heavily eat into the allotted annual budget provided by either Fox or Showtime.

Talks of the matchup surfaced almost immediately after it was revealed that Pacquiao—the only eight-division titlist in boxing history and currently a secondary beltholder at welterweight—inked a deal with adviser Al Haymon, who founded PBC in 2015.

The move came as a surprise only from a historical perspective. Pacquiao managed to miss out on several key fights at welterweight due to his fighting for years under the Top Rank promotional banner, whose founder Bob Arum has been embroiled in a years-long feud with Haymon. The heart of that standoff stems from Haymon’s relationship with Floyd Mayweather, who left Top Rank for good in 2006 and has since emerged as the biggest box office attraction in boxing history.

Arum and Haymon were literally locked in a room and forced to do business together at the demand of Les Moonves, then head of CBS Corporation (parent company of Showtime) to make Mayweather-Pacquiao a reality in 2015 after more than five years of their careers managing to run parallel.

The bout itself was a stinker—with Mayweather winning a wide but dull unanimous decision—as was the half-assed promotion offered by Mayweather Promotions which demanded lead status. Still, the most anticipated boxing event of the 21st Century secured box office benchmarks which will likely never be surpassed, including more than $72 million at the live gate and more than $400 million in U.S. PPV revenue.

At the time, it was believed to be a one-and-done event, with the 12 rounds of non-action and the nauseating building not providing any reason to do it all again. However, the two were recently at the same event in Japan this past September and took to social media together in teasing the possibility off a rematch in 2019.

The postings came on the morning of the rematch between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Genandy Golovkin, leading many to believe it was just another tactic employed by Mayweather to upstage any event involving Golden Boy Promotions. He did as much in announcing his one-fight return to the sport in 2017, staging his August ’17 bout with UFC superstar and boxing debutante Conor McGregor in Las Vegas just three weeks prior to Alvarez-Golovkin I and drawing four times as many PPV buys.

Few paid this recent round of trolling any mind, until it was revealed that Pacquiao—no longer under contract with Top Rank—had joined forces with Haymon and the PBC family.

There still doesn’t exist any real possibility of Mayweather-Pacquiao II, with Mayweather having not fought since the aforementioned highly lucrative McGregor sideshow and more interested in boxing vs. UFC pairings (rematch with McGregor, or a first fight with his most recent conqueror and UFC pound-for-pound king Khabib Nurmagomedov). By his own admission, a Pacquiao rematch requires more public massaging.

In that vain came the idea to pair Pacquiao with Broner, a former four-division titlist who has long ago maxed out his boxing celebrity credit card and could stand a notable win or two in the twilight of a frustrating career.

Broner has not fought since a 12-round draw with Jessie Vargas this past April. The 29-year old from Cincinnati has not won a fight since a narrow victory over Adrian Granados in his hometown last February.

Pacquiao is 3-1 in his life after Mayweather, managing to win some version of a welterweight title in each victory. He entered as the challenger in a pair of 2016 unanimous decisions in Las Vegas over Tim Bradley (in their third fight) and Vargas bookending his successful turn at securing one of 12 open Senate seats in his native Philippines during the general election, following a two-term tour as a Congressman in the Sarangani province.

His title reign following the Vargas win lasted just under eight months, ending in highly controversial fashion in losing an unpopular split decision to Jeff Horn last August in his opponent’s native Australia homeland. Efforts to secure a rematch proved exhausting, also signaling the end of a nearly two-decade long stint with Top Rank.

Their last bit of business together came in July, when the Las Vegas-based company secured the U.S. TV distribution rights for his stoppage win over Lucas Matthysse. The bout took place in Malaysia, with Top Rank managing to distribute via ESPN+ through its ESPN deal. A subsequent dispute came when Pacquiao claimed to have not been properly paid the rights fee by Top Rank, with the two sides settling before moving about their separate ways.

Now under the PBC banner, Pacquiao’s debut on the other side of the street is not without its snags. The Filipino southpaw has yet to resolve a multi-million dollar tax debt with the U.S. IRS, the principle cause for his having not fought stateside since the Vargas bout.

That financial matter will need to be resolved before Pacquiao can ever again fight in the U.S. However, it won’t have any bearing on whether the Nevada commission approves TGB Promotions’ fight date requests, since none come with solidified main events including the planned January 19 show in Las Vegas.

Still, Pacquiao didn’t head to PBC just to sit on the sidelines or for the outfit—which has yet to stage a branded event outside of the U.S.—to take its act overseas on his behalf. Chances are, his tax status will soon be resolved—whether fully settled or through a long-term installment agreement—as will full details of his forthcoming showdown with Broner.

More Headlines

Manny Pacquiao to the PBC


By Jake Donovan

Less than a month after teasing the possibility of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao has made the first significant move toward clearing any hurdles.

Heavy rumors have swirled about the former eight-division titlist joining forces with Mayweather’s longtime adviser, Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions outfit. Manila Bulletin’s Nick Giongco was the first to break the story on Wednesday, which has since gained considerable momentum despite a single source willing to go on record to verify.

It been suggested that Pacquiao’s first fight under the PBC umbrella can come as early as next January.

Several PBC representatives have declined comment to BoxingInsider.com on the subject, although also didn’t dismiss such rumors.

The development would be the latest in a series of significant boxing power moves within the past few months. As far as stateside boxing content goes, there are three major entities currently controlling the landscape: Haymon’s PBC series, which recently renewed lucrative, long-term pacts with Showtime and Fox/FS1; Eddie Hearn through subscription-based DAZN USA streaming service; and Pacquiao’s former long-time promoter Bob Arum, whose Top Rank outfit is the primary content provider for ESPN and its ESPN+ streaming app.

Pacquiao’s contract with Top Rank expired earlier this year. His last fight officially promoted by Top Rank came last July, when he suffered a shocking and highly controversial split decision defeat to Jeff Horn in Australia. The bout ended his third reign as a welterweight titlist, also snapping a two-fight win streak following his loss to Mayweather.

The final piece of business between the two came in his July knockout win over Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Top Rank didn’t directly promote the event, but offered live coverage on ESPN+ after Pacquiao’s MP Promotions missed numerous deadlines to distribute through Pay-Per-View.

There remained little doubt as to their going separate ways when Pacquiao (or more likely a team member speaking on his behalf) took to social media to demand money owed by Top Rank for U.S. TV rights to the aforementioned event. The issue was quickly resolved, followed by confirmation that Pacquiao would take his career in a different direction.

Later that very week, the legendary southpaw from Philippines joined in with Mayweather in trolling the boxing community in suggesting a rematch to their May ’15 blockbuster event was in the works.

The declaration came on the morning of the September 15 rematch between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, leading many to believe it was simply yet another stunt by Mayweather designed to steal attention from a Golden Boy Promotions event. Mayweather came out of retirement last summer to face UFC superstar and boxing debutant Conor McGregor, staging the event three weeks prior to Alvarez-Golovkin I and drawing more than three times as many PPV buys.

Once Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39KOs) joined in on the fun—posting “No Excuses #50-1”—skepticism quickly switched to curiosity as to whether it was actually going to happen.

Their first fight destroyed all box office numbers within the sport, setting benchmarks that will likely never be surpassed in this lifetime. Even if the rematch doesn’t happen, Pacquiao agreeing to do business with Haymon and PBC opens up a number of future possibilities. Most of the best welterweights in the world—including Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia—all fight under the PBC umbrella.

It also opens the door for Pacquiao to secure U.S. TV dates for his MP Promotions stable, which sources in the Philippines claim as an additional motivating factor.

Though far from substantiated, a potential first fight for Pacquiao could come versus former four-division titlist Adrien Broner. Where such a fight would land depends on the willingness of PBC’s chief two outlets – Showtime and Fox – ponying up the necessary funds to avoid having to go PPV in back-to-back months, with Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury locked in for December 1 on Showtime PPV live from Los Angeles, California.

A far less expensive route could see him instead take a fight with a PBC second-tier welterweight such as Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, Josesito Lopez or John Molina Jr.

Whatever is Pacquiao’s next move, it will come with an entirely new team in place.

The future Hall of Famer—who turns 40 in December—parted ways with trainer Freddie Roach earlier this year, thus ending a 17-year run with the Hollywood-based cornerman. Under Roach’s tutelage, Pacquiao managed to win titles in seven weight classes together (winningthe lineal flyweight champion prior to hooking up with Roach) and enjoyed a mercurial rise to superstardom.

His fight with Matthysse came with longtime assistant Buboy Fernandez as his head trainer, who will presumably serve in that role for as long as Pacquiao continues with his career. Along with Roach and Arum no longer along for the ride, BoxingScene.com has reported that Pacquiao has also cut ties with longtime manager Michael Koncz.

More Headlines

Al Haymon Reportedly Signs Manny Pacquiao


By: Sean Crose

Just a few short years ago it all might have seemed so absurd. Time has a way of changing things, though, and now what once may have been nearly unthinkable appears to be a real possibility. For Manny Pacquiao is reportedly teaming up with Al Haymon. Not just teaming up with the mysterious boxing guru, but signing with the man. Nothing is official yet, but numerous outlets are claiming the Filipino icon is onboard with the individual Floyd Mayweather himself credits as being a powerful advisor. It was Haymon who was by Mayweather’s side during negotiations for his 2015 superbout with Pacquiao, just as it is Haymon who helms the PBC, with its lucrative and notable collection of star fighters.

What’s obvious is that, if the reports are true, Pacquiao is clearly on his way to a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. The first bout between the two men was widely viewed as a dud, though it broke financial records. A rematch wouldn’t be nearly as lucrative, but it would still attract vast amounts of eyeballs while bringing down vast sums of money. Needless to say, the internet is completely abuzz. Some are claiming that Pacquiao will first face the notorious Adrien Broner before having a rematch with Mayweather. That would make sense, as Broner is also one of Haymon’s fighters.

One thing is certain about the reclusive Haymon – he situates the top fighters he advises to earn vast sums of money. Pacquiao, famously generous and in trouble with the IRS here in the states, has a reputation of always being in need of massive paychecks. If the rumors are true, he may well have found just the ticket to make those financial dreams a reality. There is great irony to the entire situation, as Pacquiao was long associated with longtime Haymon rival, Top Rank Promotions honcho Bob Arum.

Boxing Insider will be sure to keep reader abreast of this developing story.

More Headlines

Stephen Espinoza Believes Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 2 Will Happen


By: Michael Kane

Stephen Espinoza, the President of Showtime Sports, has suggested that the Mayweather v Pacquiao rematch is very likely.

Mayweather faced Pacquiao on the 2nd of May 2015 in what was being billed ‘The Fight Of The Century’ and ‘The Battle for Greatness’.

However the event never lived up to the pre match hype and probably came too late in the career of both boxers.

Mayweather (50-0) won an unanimous decision 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110.

Pacquiao (60-7) went on to win the WBO International welterweight title, defeating Timothy Bradley Jr almost a year after the Mayweather fight.

Pacquiao then added the WBO world title, defeating Jessie Vargas, later in 2016, only to lose that title to Jeff Horn last year.

He currently holds the WBA Regular world title after beating Lucas Martin Matthysse in July 2018.

Mayweather last fought in August 2017 against UFC champion Conor McGregor, winning by stoppage in the 10th round, a fight that moved him to 50-0 and then told the world he was retired.

How much appeal a rematch between the two greats has, can and will be debated.

“Floyd Mayweather is very serious about the fight, from everything I’ve seen and heard Manny Pacquiao is serious about it as well.” Espinoza said in a media scrum today.

“There is a lot that needs to be done, this year would be a big challenge. Not that we haven’t pulled off stuff in a short time. Like we did with Mayweather – McGregor.

“But I do think we will be seeing the rematch, Mayweather – Pacquiao in short order. I understand people doubted it because of the way it was announced, so to speak, in a viral video but I think that was just Floyd taking advantage of an opportunity in marketing and the way he markets things.”

When asked how does 2019 sound.

“2019 sounds perfect. That way I get a little sleep after this event then we go at Mayweather – Pacquiao 2 right away!”

It would seem the fight is a lot closer than people originally thought.

More Headlines

So You Won’t Watch Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Again? You Should


By: William Holmes

The reports are becoming clearer and clearer, the rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. looks like it’s going to happen.

As to when that fight is going to happen we aren’t sure. TMZ recently reported that Mayweather is planning on a tune up fight in Tokyo before coming back to fight Pacquiao again. Mayweather also posted a video where he indicated that before he fights Pacquiao he will be back in Tokyo for a huge boxing event.

Regardless, the response on social media to this possible rematch, even from many boxing pundits and reporters, was almost immediately negative. Dan Rafael wrote a column on this rematch entitled “The Fight Nobody Asked For.” Kevin Iole seems equally pessimistic, when he wrote the following in his column about the proposed fight , “The hype will be incredible if it happens again, though the action certainly doesn’t figure to be anything close.”

The belief that the fight will be a dud has already spread to boxing fans on social media, with some fans indicating they’ll watch them fight again, but many promising to not waste another dollar on it.

But many who now claim they won’t watch the rematch aren’t telling the truth.

The buzz behind a possible rematch began to hit social media the day before the Golovkin and Canelo rematch; when Mayweather and Pacquiao “ran” into each other in Japan and verbally agreed to fight each other in December. The talks of the rematch trended on social media and news outlets around the world began to pick it up and report on it.

Will the rematch be as boring as their first fight? There are reasons to believe it won’t be.

One of the biggest stories to come out of their first fight was Manny Pacquiao undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair his injured right shoulder immediately after his loss. Pacquiao’s seemingly reluctance to throw right hooks and jab was evident from the third round on. Some believe Pacquiao’s shoulder wasn’t really injured, but his surgeon seemed pretty convincing when talking about the surgery that it was a legitimate injury. Pacquiao had asked for an anti-inflammatory shot on his shoulder on the night of the fight, but the Nevada athletic commission denied it.

Pacquaio has also has had his fair share of rematches, and many of them turned out to be successful fights for him. Can he continue that trend with Mayweather?

Consider the following: Pacquiao fought Erik Morales in March of 2005 and lost the decision. He went on to face Morales two more times, in 2006, and was able to stop him both times. He fought Marco Antonio Barrera twice and was able to beat him both times. He fought Marquez four times. He drew with Marquez the first time, beat him by a close decision twice, and was knocked out his last fight with Marquez. He fought Timothy Bradley three times. Lost the decision the first time and bounced back to beat Bradley two more times.

Pacquiao has a history of rematches, and he usually does better the second time facing an opponent.

Lack of activity may also be of some concern for Mayweather. He did not fight at all in 2016. His one fight in 2017 was against Conor McGregor, an MMA champion with no boxing experience. In reality, Mayweather hasn’t stepped in the ring against a legitimate boxer in three years.

Pacquiao’s activity isn’t that of a young boxer, but since facing Mayweather he has stepped into the ring against several notable opponents. He defeated Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas. He lost a close decision to Jeff Horn in a match that nearly everyone feels he should have won. He also had his first stoppage victory in years against Lucas Matthysse in his last bout.

Three years without facing a legitimate boxing opponent and choosing to step in the ring against an all time great like Pacquiao is a fact that most are over looking.

Finally, one of the biggest differences in their rematch is Freddie Roach, or the lack of Freddie Roach. Roach’s hall of fame credentials as a trainer aren’t in question, but his ability to effectively train his fighters while Parkinson’s Disease ravages his body is a fair question. Mentally, Roach can probably still hang with the best trainers in the world. But it’s not a certainty that he can keep up physically when working with his fighters or doing pad work.

Pacquiao chose his long time friend, Buboy Fernandez, as his trainer when he faced Matthysse. He also got his first stoppage in nine years with Buboy, and not Roach, in his corner.

Can Manny beat Floyd? It’s still going to be a very difficult task. Mayweather size advantage will still be there, and getting past Mayweather’s five inch reach advantage will be very difficult for Pacquiao; especially when Mayweather is as fast, if not faster, than him.

Manny’s best bet at victory would be to throw caution to the wind and fight like he has nothing to lose. He will have to go on the attack and be willing to take Mayweather’s best punches in order to land just one. He cannot win by being passive.

He will have to fight with the same hunger and desire as he had when he was a young kid that was trying to fight his way out of poverty in order to have any chance of victory.

He was able to watch Saturday’s thriller between Canelo and Golovkin. At the end of the bout he wrote on twitter:

If Pacquiao can show that he’s willing to go toe to toe for twelve rounds with Mayweather, it will be a fight worth watching.

More Columns

Logic Says Pacquiao Wants This Mayweather Fight Again


By: Rich Mancuso

This is no longer a rumor as reliable sources on Tuesday afternoon were able to confirm that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will meet Manny Pacquiao in the ring again as soon as early or mid December. And if that date is not workable then the rematch would take place early next year.

Though numerous sources at Top Rank, who reportedly still have promotional rights with Pacquiao, are not commenting, sources say that Mayweather and Pacquiao meeting last week was more than talk and reality about staging a second fight.

Details as to where, telecast rights, and the financial aspect to all of this are also far from discussion as more talks with the respective Pacquiao and Mayweather camps are planned in the coming weeks. Mayweather, with his promotion would be a major player here and the other principles involved would be more complicated.

When asked about the status of Manny Pacquiao and his business with Top Rank, a source at the promotion would only say, “As far as we know Manny Pacquiao is still under contract.” Though there are reports still circulating that the eight-division champion is done with Top Rank and with other options.

Pacquiao, reportedly has not signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN the global live and on-demand sports streaming service. Matchroom and DAZN is quickly becoming a major competitor to Top Rank and their ESPN deal and to the PBC and their television deals with Showtime and Fox.

A source at Matchroom Boxing could not be reached for comment. So for the moment it’s wait and see, and it is known that Bob Arum is not enthused about being involved in a possible second Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

As for the demand to see a rematch, the boxing fans are skeptical after the outcome of their first and anticipated fight in May of 2015 that generated

As one boxing fan said, and what seems to be a majority of the opinion, “If they are fighting again the only reason I would watch it would be to see if Mayweather can get his 50th win against a professional boxer and not against a guy who had boxing shoes on for the first time.”

The reference, and of course to Mayweather getting a record 50th win against UFC star Conor McGregor last August, a fight that rivaled the record income generated from that first Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and became a reality show with shouting, obscenities, and needed minimal hype.
Which leads to questions and to why this fight could happen again, and real soon between two of the biggest draws the sport has seen the last decade.

Those in the Manny Pacquiao camp are not questioning the rationale. With one or perhaps a few more fights before retiring, the 39-year old and future Hall of Famer stopped Lucas Matthysse for the WBA welterweight belt and regained a piece of that title.

Forget about the bitter and controversial defeats to Timothy Bradley and Jeff Horn, two blemishes on a career that Manny Pacquiao would have wanted to end differently. In his mind, and those close to Manny Pacquiao say, redemption and another fight with Mayweather is what keeps him going.

Other than that, there is not much more Manny Pacquiao can achieve with his latest WBA title added to his resume. Floyd Mayweather, on the other hand, it’s all about the money and the spotlight and again it is a matter of specifics as to how much and who will have television rights.

The public on the other hand? That is the prevailing question about this second fight. Will they buy into it, and different from the first time those intrigued and not into boxing, well they will probably opt to skip this one.

Regardless, count on another meeting and soon because Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, a bit older are still wise when it comes to making a dollar.

Comment: Ring [email protected] [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

More Headlines

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”

View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on

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.

More Headlines

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.

More Headlines

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.

More Headlines

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.

More Columns

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.

More Columns

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.

More Columns