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ESPN Offered Another Look At Mayweather-Pacquiao. It Was Enlightening.
By: Sean Crose
Everyone was disappointed. Everyone called it a waste of money, an event that went down five years too late, a robbery, a hype job, and a snooze fest. Only, come to find out, it wasn’t. Time truly does have a way of offering clarity. The case of 2015’s Floyd Mayweather – Manny Pacquiao fight was proof of this. ESPN and Top Rank have been showing some high level old matches lately – perhaps one good thing to emerge for this Covid-19 nightmare the world is suffering through – and this past Saturday they showed Floyd’s throwdown with Manny, otherwise known as the fight everyone loves to hate.
Having not seen it in years, I came away from Saturday’s viewing – impressed. For what I saw was thirty six minutes of high level boxing. How high level? About as high level as it comes. This was Waterloo in a boxing ring, a contest between two absolute masters engaged in high level chess – while untold millions watched around the world live. George Foreman once compared boxing to jazz, saying both become less popular the better their practitioners become. There’s some real truth to that. Mayweather versus Pacquiao offered no stunning knockouts, no thrilling come from behind victories, no controversial decisions. It was simply one future Hall of Famer giving it his all against another.
And man, were we disappointed in it. For weeks, we hard core fans griped, while casual fans and the curious scoffed at how boring it was. Perhaps the uninitiated were right to be unhappy. When most people think boxing, they may well think the last 30 minutes of every Rocky movie. Fights at the highest level don’t always play out that way. After re-watching Mayweather-Pacquiao this past weekend, I couldn’t help thinking that it was just a good a fight as Hagler-Leonard. It was simply that everyone wanted Hagler-Hearns. Years of waiting and an oddly curious mainstream media led hype levels to such a pitch that it was almost impossible for the match itself not to disappoint. I remember every major bout since Leonard-Duran 1, and I honestly can’t recall one match – even among matches of the highest order – that brought about the ballyhoo Mayweather-Pacquiao did.
So yes, the hype was through the roof. What’s more, Mayweather-Pacquiao took place in an over the top era. Boasting was something that had once been frowned upon – by 2015 it was seen as a virtue – something to master if one really wanted to get ahead. Much like today, 2015 liked its entertainment (and sports have been seen as entertainment for at least a century) flashy and explosive. Floyd was flashy. Manny was explosive. Yet both men were forced to tamp down their most popular qualities after they signed to fight each other. Mayweather was just too good for Pacquiao to take risks, and Pacquiao was just too good for Mayweather to be anything other than intensely serious. In short, the men were too good for their own good. At least that’s how it’s been seen.
It’s time for that to change, though. Mayweather-Pacquiao wasn’t a great fight – but it certainly wasn’t a bad one. Far from it.
Pacquiao Claims He’s Tested Negative For COVID-19
By: Sean Crose
Manny Pacquiao has reportedly tested negative for the Corona virus, otherwise known as COVID-19. The iconic boxer and Filipino senator had reportedly come into contact with an individual who had tested positive for the virus. Pacquiao claimed he had “already started home quarantine” in a public announcement. “Please don’t worry,” he stated, “I received rapid testing kits from my friends from South Korea. Using these kits approved in Korea, I tested negative. The FDA hasn’t approved them yet but these are what’s used in Korea.” Like much of the world, Pacquiao’s native Philippines has been hit by COVID-19. Pacquiao and his family reportedly went under quarantine.
The WBA world welterweight champion – and almost guaranteed future Hall of Fame fighter – has said he will be willing to be tested again, by swab, if evidence arises that the virus may be impacting him. Pacquiao has also claimed he is willing to face death himself in order to help the Filipino people during the international pandemic. “It’s an entirely different conversation when I’m feeling something strange in my body,” he said. “I am willing to undergo swab testing for the sake of my family and my country, but I will go through the regular procedure.” Pacquiao has argued that “there are many more persons under investigation or PUI that should be prioritized in testing.”
Pacquiao, perhaps the most famous Filipino on earth, last stepped foot in a professional boxing ring last summer when he surprised many by knocking down defending WBA world welterweight champion Keith Thurman en route to a decision victory. Although Pacquiao was supposed to fight again this summer – Mikey Garcia’s name has been mentioned – the worldwide terror that is COVID-19 has put any plans that may have been in the works on hold indefinitely. At the moment, Pacquiao, who has held titles in a whopping eight weight divisions, is focusing on his duties as a senator.
“If you are a leader,” the Manila Bulletin quotes Pacquiao as saying, “you have to be a frontliner.” Pacquiao has also addressed the fact that his own upbringing in extreme poverty has made him empathetic to those in need. “You have to lead,” he said, “and let people see that you are with them…I grew up poor. I know what they feel.” As of last weekend, there were close to a thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. Over 50 Filipinos struck by the virus had perished from it.
Who Will Manny Pacquiao Fight Next?
By: Sean Crose
It’s been over six months since Manny Pacquiao was in the ring. The Filipino icon’s last fight was in July, 2019, when he surprisingly (to some at least) bested WBA welterweight champion Kieth “One Time” Thurman in a bout that actually saw Pacquiao put his much younger opponent onto the mat. Since that time, Pacquiao has undoubtedly been busy working as a senator in his homeland, where he holds elected office. At 41, however, the man is showing no interest in retiring from the sport of boxing. Still, word is that the fighter known as “Pac Man” won’t return to the ring until this summer. With that being said, questions are now swirling as to who exactly it is Pacquiao will fight next.
Those hoping for a fight between Pacquiao and divisional star – and multi-titlist – Errol Spence Jr will most likely be disappointed for the time being. Spence was involved in a serious automobile accident last fall. Although it appears he’s emerging from the incident no worse for wear and wants to return to fight a top opponent, there’s been little to no talk that Spence’s next fight will be against the legendary Pacquiao. Then there’s Danny Garcia, a former titlist who, despite two close losses (one to Thurman and one to Shawn “Showtime” Porter)is no easy out. Garcia might even be favored against the aging Pacquiao should the two men meet in Pacquiao’s next fight.
Another Garcia is being mentioned as a possible opponent for Pacquiao. Although former titlist Mikey Garcia got dominated by Spence when he stepped up into the welterweight division last year, an impressive performance against Jesse Vargas (who Pacquiao once bested) late in February showed the Californian can hold his own in the division. With only the single loss to Spence on his resume, Garcia is a deliberate, highly skilled fighter who clearly wants to get back in the ring with a high profile opponent.
hen there’s the glamour fights. Pacquiao has, for years now, wanted a second crack at Floyd Mayweather after dropping a decision to the man called “Money” in their disappointing 2015 superfight. Mayweather has played with the idea, but has never gone through with making a deal. Mayweather’s last fight was against UFC star Conor McGregor, who is also seen as a potential high profile, high earning Pacquiao opponent. Whoever Pacquiao ends up getting in the ring with it, it’s hard to imagine that it would be a tuneup match. At this point in his career, the future Hall of Famer seems set on only facing name fighters – at least this time around.
Manny Pacquiao Signs With Paradigm, Who Happens to Represent Conor McGregor
By: Sean Crose
“We’re very excited to announce that Manny Pacquiao has signed with PSM for full service representation!” Paradigm Sports Management announced Tuesday. “Manny is one of the greatest boxers of all time & we look forward to working with Arnold, Ping and the rest of the team back in Manila to maximize his historic career.” One of the most popular fighters in the world, Pacquiao is now represented by the same company that represents MMA superstar Conor McGregor. “Welcome to the team Emmanuel,” McGregor tweeted. Although Pacquiao is now under the Paradigm banner, his personal team is supposed to stay generally in tact.
“I am proud to partner with Paradigm Sports Management,” Pacquiao claimed, “and am excited for the opportunities that Audie Attar and PSM have to offer.” Pacquiao then went on to address the public in general. “One thing I want everyone to remember is to always think positively. Never think negatively, that is the beginning of your downfall. Everything is possible.” Audie Attar, the head of Paradigm, also weighed in. “I’m honored to have the opportunity not only to maximize Manny’s boxing career,” ESPN reports Attar as stating, “but to help him continue to leave a legacy he is proud of through the lens of business and sport…my approach is to focus on each client and their goals always, and I look forward to fighting on his behalf.”
Pacquiao is one of the most famous athletes on earth. He’s earned hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of his long career and fought in the most lucrative battle in boxing history when he lost a decision to Floyd Mayweather back in 2015. The Filipino icon has found himself in the midst of a career resurgence since besting Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman last year. Pacquiao is currently the WBA welterweight champion of the world.
Naturally, talk has already turned to a Pacquiao-McGregor fight. McGregor jumped into the boxing ring in 2017 to take on Mayweather in a bout so lucrative that only Pacquiao-Mayweather had managed to bring in more money. Although McGregor is considerably bigger and younger than Pacquiao, he lost to the far less aggressive Mayweather by knockout, meaning that the fast and hard punching Pacquiao would likely prove to be a formidable foe in the ring. Neither Pacquiao’s nor McGregor’s next opponents have been announced. That does not, however, mean that either man won’t end up facing an opponent from his respective sport.
Manny Pacquiao Celebrates 25 Years Of Pro Boxing
By: Sean Crose
Muhammad Ali fought professionally for just over 21 years. It was a remarkable career up until the very end, when horrible losses to Trevor Berbick and Larry Holmes showed it was finally time for “The Greatest” to hang up his gloves. Jack Dempsey dominated the sport of boxing in the 1920’s – but his pro career lasted just over thirteen years. Mike Tyson’s career lasted a bit past twenty years…and the final ten years of so of that career saw “Iron Mike” fighting well past his prime. The truth is that boxing is a brutal sport – one that generally doesn’t lead to a lot of longevity for those who aren’t named Bernard Hopkins. That’s why it’s not hyperbole to declare Manny Pacquiao’s now twenty-five year career nothing short of incredible.
The international star started as a pro in the Philippines on January 22nd, 1995. His opponent in the four round contest was the 1-1 Edmund Eting Ignacio. Pacquiao won the bout by unanimous decision, then went on to a stellar career that has not only lasted decades but is remarkably still going strong. Since that first fight all those years ago, Pacquiao has gone from light flyweight all the way to junior middleweight. Along the way, he’s picked up titles in eight weight divisions and battled the biggest names of his generation.
What makes this anniversary for Pacquiao particularly unique is that, at 41 years of age, the man is still a top level boxer. Although this is clearly the later part of the Filipino icon’s career, he’s still a major world titleholder. What’s more, in Pacquiao’s last fight, he defeated one of the best of boxing’s new generation of fighters, Keith “One Time” Thurman. People may argue Pacquiao isn’t the same man who absolutely destroyed Oscar De La Hoya back in 2008, but few are ready to write the future Hall of Famer off entirely – not after his recent performances last year against Thurman and Adrien Broner they’re not.
Even though he now has to share his time between boxing and his work as a Senator for the Filipino government, “PacMan” still manages to step inside the ring when he can…and those fights are always must see events. Pacquiao’s intense, fast paced, aggressive style simply makes for great viewing. A Manny Pacquiao fight may be many things – but aside from a few exceptions (his superfight with Floyd Mayweather, for instance), a Manny Pacquiao fight is never considered boring. Couple this with the fact that Pacquiao comes across as a gentleman, and it’s easy to see why the man’s popularity is enduring, both in and outside the Philippians. Here’s hoping he continues for as long as he safely can.
Eddie Hearn Claims That Saudi Arabia Wants Mikey Garcia vs Manny Pacquiao
By: Hans Themistode
It wasn’t the sort of introduction to the Welterweight division that Mikey Garcia wanted, but he’s not ready to move away from the division just yet.
The last time Garcia was seen in the ring, he was getting dominated in an IBF title fight against Errol Spence Jr. It wasn’t the sort of performance that fans were expecting to see from Garcia. With just how lopsided that contest was, many were expecting Garcia to drop back down in weight. Yet, that isn’t something that is on his mind. He is currently scheduled to take on former two division world champion Jessie Vargas in February, 2020.
“My last performance was horrible,” said Garcia. “The worse of my career and I feel that I need to make up for that. I gotta show my fans that there is much more to Mikey Garcia, even at 147. I should be fighting at a lower weight class but I want to show everyone that I can be a title challenger 147.”
From a talent perspective, Garcia has the edge over Vargas. But boxing doesn’t simply come down to who has the most skill. Too many times have we seen the smaller, more skilled boxer, take an absolute pounding against the bigger man.
If Garcia is what many believe he still is, which is a pound for pound level fighter, then he should have little trouble against Vargas. His last fight against Spence, had he won, would have gifted him the IBF crown. This time around, his contest against Vargas could give him an even bigger opportunity.
For years Garcia has been linked to future hall of famer and current WBA Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao. A win over Vargas could push Garcia to the front of the line for that contest.
If fighting Pacquiao wasn’t a big enough incentive, promoter Eddie Hearn recently dropped some huge news.
Not only would Garcia vs Pacquiao be the most likely contest next, but it could also take place in Saudi Arabia.
Remember, it was just a few weeks ago that Saudi Arabia built the biggest outdoor temporary arena to host the Heavyweight title clash between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.
The fight did monster numbers and there is no reason why it won’t be even bigger with Garcia and Pacquiao headlining the event.
“They want that [Pacquiao and Garcia] fight,” said Hearn. “They want the biggest of the biggest fights in Saudi Arabia. They have loads of money and are not going anywhere. If you get [a mega fight], they have the money for it. You know, if I’m going to do two shows in Saudi, they are going to be f—ing monsters … I’m getting approaches from everybody in the middle east to do fights, but right now, Saudi Arabia is the one who put the money up and the trust in us.”
No one is overlooking for Vargas. He is still in the prime of his career and a very good fighter who has only lost to Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley. While Garcia can’t and won’t think past him, the fans on the other hand can’t help but get excited if a Mikey Garcia vs Manny Pacquiao fight takes place.
If Joshua vs Ruiz was any indication, the magnitude of that event in Saudi Arabia would be ridiculous.
Andy Ruiz Jr. Trainer Manny Robles “Hasn’t Heard” From The Ex-Champion
by: Johnny Walker
The fallout continues from the poor outing by Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) in his unanimous decision rematch loss against the now re-crowned world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua of the UK (23-1, 21 KOs) on December 7th.
In marked contrast to his ubiquitous presence following the night at the beginning of June when as underdog challenger he took the titles away from Joshua, there have been no notable recent media sightings of the now shamed ex-champ. Meanwhile, details continue to emerge of Ruiz’s puzzling sloth and seemingly uncaring attitude as the biggest fight of his life approached.
One of the most puzzled parties is Ruiz’s trainer Manny Robles, whose honesty regarding the turmoil in the Ruiz camp, as the champion suddenly decided to abandon his training in order to “party” with friends (if people who would encourage and enable such behavior can truthfully be called friends), has been refreshing.
“At least know that you gave it 100,” said a frustrated Robles in an interview conducted while back at work in his California gym recently. “Money isn’t everything, you want to leave a legacy.”
“Every fight is the biggest fight of your life.”
Robles, blown off early in training camp by Ruiz and finally reduced to begging the fighter via text message to come and train for the biggest fight of both of their lives, obviously feels that despite ample warnings about his self-destructive behavior, Ruiz’s head was turned by money and instant fame.
Far from the friendly and benign guy of TV interviews, Andy Ruiz became both arrogant and deceptive very quickly, judging from Robles’ account.
Ruiz has admitted he thought he could go it alone and “train himself” for the rematch, and Robles says that various people caught the fighter’s ear, turning him away from the task at hand.
Now, in the aftermath of the disastrous loss to Joshua, the seeming bright future for the Robles and Ruiz team has become very cloudy.
“If he wants it, I’m here, let’s go and get it,” Robles says in relation to future fights. “But [Ruiz] has got to know what he really wants.”
A chagrined Robles explains that while Ruiz may have been acting like a wayward teenager, as a trainer employed by the fighter, he could only do so much to try to rescue his charge from what became an inevitable fate at the hands of Joshua.
“At the end of the day, he’s his own man, he’s a man, not a kid,” Robles explains. “He’s gotta know right from wrong.”
“When he was in the gym, I tried to do what I could to get him in the best shape I could,” Robles continues, explaining that Ruiz faced some minor problems including gout (!) and a twisted ankle during the lead-up to the rematch, but nothing major.
“Obviously it wasn’t enough.”
And while there were numerous media stories about Ruiz’s “extreme weight loss” to the point where even former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson felt the need to express concern, Robles admits that except for some weight Ruiz dropped early in camp, it was all smoke and mirrors.
“I’m not responsible for him,” Robles says regarding Ruiz’s party boy lifestyle, documented by the fighter himself on social media with pictures and video of theme parties, mounds of food, expensive cars and even of a mansion and sprawling estate the fighter bought with his payout on the first Joshua fight.
“When he steps in the gym, I’m responsible, but when he’s not [there], there’s nothing I can do,’ Robles shrugs.
Perhaps tellingly, Robles says in the recent interview that he has not heard from Ruiz since the press conference following the loss to Joshua, during which the now ex-champ apologized for his behavior in and out of camp.
“I sent [Ruiz] a message the other day … didn’t get a response,” a crestfallen Robles explains.
“What can I say?”
“Sometimes fame and fortune can be overwhelming.”
Ruiz Trainer Manny Robles: “We’re Prepared”
By: Sean Crose
Whatever Andy Ruiz’ trainer Manny Robles is getting paid for his fighter’s rematch with Anthony Joshua this weekend, he deserves a bonus. For it was Robles who took about an hour’s worth of calls from Saudi Arabia on Thursday after Ruiz, who was supposed to be on the call, didn’t make it (“I don’t know what happened,” Robles said, explaining that he is in no way involved with his fighter’s media obligations). Talkative by nature, the veteran corner man answered question after question from the media, often at considerable length…no easy task. Again, the guy deserves a bonus.
“He’s a warrior,” Robles said of Joshua, who’s looking to regain his heavyweight belts on Saturday, “and we have nothing but respect for Anthony Joshua.” When I asked if team Ruiz was ready for a stylistically different Joshua this time around, Robles confidently answered in the affirmative. “We’re prepared,” he responded. “We had months to prepare…we were able to bring in some very good sparring partners.” Yet Robles made it clear that “we also have to understand we have a monster (before us) in Anthony Joshua.”
There were, of course, questions about Ruiz’ weight. Unlike the first fight with Joshua, the chubby Ruiz has had a full camp this time around. “During camp, we had a talk,” Robles said of he and his fighter. “(We) tried to figure out where he felt at his best.” Ultimately, he and Ruiz “made the decision to stick to his weight,” which means the defending champion will walk into the ring this weekend weighing about 268 pounds. Robles said that Ruiz had been dropping weight, but “he was feeling drained,” so the fighter “put the weight back on.” As far as the trainer was concerned, it wasn’t too significant a matter. “I really don’t think,” he said, “the weight has anything to do with it.”
What did appear, quite surprisingly, to concern Robles was his fighter’s confidence. Robles indicated he sees it as his job to “get him (Ruiz) to believe in himself. It’s something you have to get on every day with him.” As far as Robles is concerned, Ruiz has the skills to keep hanging with the world’s best. “Andy Ruiz is a complete fighter,” he stated bluntly. Robles also made it clear that he wants others to respect Ruiz and his team, as well. “I’m hoping we get a fair shake,” he said, referring to the officials for Saturday’s fight. “This is the Anthony Joshua show.”
Questioned about the leadup to this weekend’s bout, Robles was polite, but on point. “We never had a press conference in Mexico,” he said. “We never had a press conference in California, back home…that’s got to tell you something.” Even though Ruiz is the champion, Robles feels like his fighter wasn’t treated as an equal during the promotion. “I don’t think that was fair,” he said. None of the leadup will matter, however, once the opening bell rings on Saturday. “You hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” Robles said honestly. Not that he’s expecting his man to lose.
“There’s nothing on my mind right now other than Anthony Joshua,” he said.
Which Garcia Should Pacquiao Fight Next? Mikey or Danny?
By: Hans Themistode
When Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) outclassed Adrien Broner earlier this year, not many people thought anything of it.
Broner has always possessed all of the talent in the world, but he has long had his difficulties putting it all together. His four division world titles, although impressive, lacks any true substance. He just hasn’t beaten anyone of note in his career.
When the two locked horns at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, in January, no one was really surprised by the outcome. Broner gave it everything he had, but Pacquiao simply overwhelmed him with his volume. When it was later announced that Pacquiao would be stepping into the ring against Keith Thurman a few months later, that contest was viewed as a true toss up. In fact, many believed that Thurman, who is a decade younger, would be too much for Pacquiao.
Fast forward twelve grueling rounds later and many of those critics were wrong as Pacquiao earned a split decision victory.
Pacquiao, like many of the top name fighters of today, only fights two times a year. His next contest has already been penciled in for the first half of 2020 and he has two opponents in mind.
Former two division world champion Danny Garcia and former four division champion Mikey Garcia, no relation.
With Terence Crawford on the other side of the street with Top Rank and Errol Spence Jr sidelined while he recovers from his horrific car accident, these are the two biggest names Pacquiao can get his hands on. But which of the two Garcia’s would be the best option? Let’s break it down.
The Case For Danny
It wasn’t that long ago, 2016 to be exact, when Danny Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) was an undefeated belt holder at the Welterweight division. His run through the Super Lightweight class was something special. He fought and defeated the sort of fighters that no one expected him too.
In 2012, when he absolutely destroyed Amir Khan, that wasn’t supposed to happen. No one expected him to pull off the victory. Yet, he did. Whoever considered themselves the top dog at the weight made sure to step into the ring with Danny and each time the Philly born fighter came out on top.
His run in the Welterweight division hasn’t been as great but it’s been a very good one. Close losses to both Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman knocked off some of the shine from his profile but still, those matches could have gone either way. He may not be viewed as the possible pound for pound level fighter that many pegged him out to be, but he is still an outstanding fighter nonetheless.
Danny has also been itching for a chance to face off with Pacquiao for a while now.
“I’m waiting for the call,” said Danny when regarding a possible Pacquiao contest. “That’s a fight I definitely want. Pacquiao has always had problems with counter punchers so I feel like my style would be perfect for him.”
Pacquiao has had his issues with counter punchers in the past but he would be the solid betting favorite going up against Danny if this contest were to take place. The case for Danny to be the next man up for Pacquiao is a strong one but let’s take a look at the other Garcia first.
The Case For Mikey
You really can’t have one bad day at the office in the sport of boxing. Throughout the entire career of Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) he was viewed as one of the best out there. Even as he battled legal issues for several years, once he returned back to the ring he didn’t lose a beat.
Mikey soon went on a roll, defeating Dejan Zlaticanin for the Lightweight world title. He then moved up to outpoint Adrien Broner over 12 rounds and followed that up with back to back wins over Sergey Lipinets and Robert Easter Jr to win world titles in both contests.
His penchant to move up in weight was taken too far as he jumped up two weight classes to take on IBF titlist Errol Spence Jr in March of this year and subsequently lost every single round in that matchup. He hasn’t been seen in a ring since then.
Despite the loss, Mikey and Pacquiao have long been linked to one another. To say that Mikey would be excited for the challenge would be putting it mildly.
“I would love a fight with Manny,” said Mikey. “I think I have to get another fight before that to show everyone that I am capable and that I earned it. But a fight with Manny would be bad ass. I would love a fight with Manny.”
With just one defeat on his record he would be more than a worthy foe for Pacquiao and his 2020 return, but which Garcia should ultimately get the call?
Mikey Garcia is a great fighter. Despite his blowout loss to Spence, you just can’t say a bad word about the guy. His timing, power, boxing ability and heart have always carried him through his matches.
If this contest were to take place at a different weight than Mikey would have a better argument. But it isn’t.
The four division world champion just seems to be too small for the Welterweight class.
Danny on the other hand isn’t just a fully grown Welterweight fighter, but in actuality, he might be too big for the weight class. Don’t put too much stock into Danny losing to Keith Thurman back in 2017 and Pacquiao winning his most recent contest against that same Keith Thurman this year. We all know that styles make fights and Danny would give Pacquiao a ton of issues in the ring.
Truth be told, Pacquiao would be expected to win against either Garcia. However, if these are the two top options for Pacquiao and his return bout then he should absolutely look to take on Danny Garcia. It would be a fan friendly contest from start to finish and it would give both men a chance to add another big name fighter to their already ridiculous resumes.
Floyd Mayweather Stops Exhibition Talks and Focuses on Manny Pacquiao Rematch
By: Hans Themistode
Former five division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr had a long and lucrative career.
A spotless 50 and 0 record coupled with multiple championships provides credence to that statement. In his last official ring appearance, he was seen stopping UFC star Conor McGregor in the tenth round at the T-Mobile arena, in Las Vegas Nevada. It was a bout in which it was reported to have made him over 100 million dollars.
Still, with all of the money in the world to go along with the title of one of the very best to ever step inside of a ring, it has proven to not be enough for Mayweather.
Late last year in 2018, Mayweather returned to the ring in an exhibition contest against Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan. Mayweather easily won via first round stoppage. There was a belief that Mayweather would once again return to the ring in Japan for another exhibition matchup. Who could blame him? Mayweather revealed that he was paid 9 million dollars for his easy victory over Nasukawa.
With the possibility of another big pay day, this time in China, Mayweather began talks with promoters in order to secure the event.
Although Mayweather could be paid handsomely once again for what would seem like an easy matchup, he has instead opted to go in another direction. One that could prove to be much more lucrative. A rematch with Manny Pacquiao.
“Mayweather came two times to Hong Kong,” said Honk Kong’s DEF promotions director Jay Lau. “He spoke with my son Jayson and we had communications but now he is focusing on the Pacquiao rematch. We were talking about an exhibition in China, a big event but not a recorded professional boxing fight. Something like Mayweather vs Tenshin in Japan.”
Talks of Mayweather vs Pacquiao 2 shouldn’t come as a surprise. When the two met in 2015, they broke pay per view records with 4.6 million. Mayweather also reportedly made roughly 300 million for the contest.
Pacquiao, who is an eight division world champion and future hall of famer in his own right, claimed that he was not 100 percent for the contest, suffering from a torn labrum. Mayweather was never buying his excuses and seemed to be done with Pacquiao. Fast forward several years later, and it seems as though the two will tangle once again, or at least according to Lau.
“I’ll let him do his thing with Manny, the rematch is the biggest thing that can happen, so why bother with the exhibition bout first? If that happens we will stop everything and let him do his thing first. I hope it does happen, it could be a big possibility that fight is the grand opening for the Japan casinos. The only thing I will say is he’s expensive, so we have to work really hard to get him back over to Asia – the offer is not easy.”
It is difficult to say whether a rematch with Pacquiao will actually take place, but Mayweather has always been fascinated with money. If he is offered another large some of cash, a Mayweather vs Pacquiao rematch could become a reality.
Here We Go Again? Mayweather And Pacquiao Publicly Trade Gibes
By: Sean Crose
It all started when Floyd Mayweather was spotted in the ring, looking dapper as always, just before last Saturday’s WBA weterweight title showdown between Keith Thuman and Mayweather’s arch rival, Manny Pacquiao. One couldn’t help but feel like talk of a second fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao would inevitably be discussed should Pacquiao somehow pull off a win against the younger, seemingly stronger Thurman. Thing is, Pacquiao didn’t just win – he outright beat Thurman up. And, now, of course, people are talking Mayweather-Pacquiao 2. Never mind the fact that many feel the first fight went down after the sell by date. Never mind the fact that a rematch would go down well past the sell by date. The buzz already seems to be starting. The question is, will a second Floyd-Manny showdown really occur?
“I find it real ironic,” Mayweather stated on Instagram Tuesday, “how every time Pacquiao’s name is brought up in the media, my name is always attached to it. This man’s entire legacy and career has been built off its association with my name and it’s about time you all stop using my brand for clout chasing and clickbait and let that man’s name hold weight of its own.” Mayweather then took to playing defense.
“For years,” he continued, “all you heard was that ‘Floyd is afraid of Manny Pacquiao’. But what’s funny is, when we finally fought, I won so easily that everyone had to eat their words! All of the so called boxing experts, critics and jealous American ‘fan base’ either went mute and ran for cover or made every excuse in the world as to why I should give Manny Pacquiao a rematch. My take on all this bullshit is that y’all are just upset that I broke Rocky Marciano’s record and hate the fact that a Black, high school dropout outsmarted you all by beating all odds and retiring undefeated while maintaining all my faculties simply by making smart choices and even smarter investments. Ultimately, I will always have the last laugh!”
Pacquiao took to Twitter and responded in kind. “@FloydMayweather You come to my fight and then use my name in a post but I’m the one that is trying to stay relevant? If you want to be relevant again…#MayPac2.” And so the gauntlet was thrown down. “SWIPE LEFT,” Mayweather retorted on Wednesday. “Let’s stick to the facts! Bob Arum is no longer your promoter, so when it comes to @mayweatherpromotions& PBC events I’m the HNIC! Bottom line, I make more money than you; I beat you, then I signed you! I was only at your fight supervising you, my employee, as any real BOSS would do. You made $10Million for 12 rounds, when I just made $9M in under 3 minutes playing around in an exhibition with a pizza delivery guy! I beat you mentally, physically and financially! Remember, you fight cause you have to, I fight when I want to! #TMT #TBE #mayweatherpromotions @greg_tmt
But it wasn’t over yet. “Excuse me Floyd,” Pacquiao came back and tweeted, “your name has not been on any of my PBC contracts. But if you would like to be on the next one, I will have one drawn up and sent to you. #CounterfeitMoney.” An objective observer might argue that Pacquiao truly wants a rematch, while Mayweather wants attention. Then again, maybe both men want the fight. Pacquiao is f40, Mayweather is 42. Both are past their respective primes, though Pacquiao is now the far more active of the two. A rematch might not be a great fight. The public might not even be all that crazy about the idea. People will pay to see it if it happens, though. That much is certain.
What’s Next For Manny Pacquiao?
By: Hans Themistode
There have been plenty of fans and reporters who have thrown dirt on the grave of Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs). It’s about time that has came to an end. After picking up a decision victory over former champion Keith Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) on July 20th, it’s clear that the eight time world champion and new WBA title holder isn’t going away anytime soon.
Pacquiao dropped and hurt Thurman several times throughout the fight and proved that he is still one of the best fighters in the world. At this point, he doesn’t want a soft touch, nor does he need it. He still wants to fight the best. So you know what? Let’s give him exactly what he’s looking for.
Errol Spence Jr vs Shawn Porter Winner
On September 28th, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California IBF and WBC champions Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter will be fighting in a unification contest. Even at the age of 40, Pacquiao has proven to be one of the best fighters in the world. He has also told everyone that he will have a close eye on that contest.
“I hope to be at that fight on the 28th.” Said Pacquiao after outpointing Keith Thurman on July 20th, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both Porter and Spence would be extremely tough bouts for the new WBA world champion, but no one should doubt his abilities to get the job done against either man.
Many may not want to admit it, but, Danny Garcia has been known as some what of a legend killer.
He effectively retired Erik Morales, picking up a unanimous decision victory in their first contest and a knockout win in their second bout. In between both fights he also managed to stop Amir Khan dead in his tracks in the fourth round of their unification match. Wins over in their prime fighters such as Lucas Matthysse and Lamont Peterson followed by a victory over Zab Judah has fueled his claim as a legend killer.
Let’s all also not forget that he is a two weight world champion. Garcia did lose a close decision to recent Pacquiao victim Keith Thurman, but he has since grown as a fighter. If Pacquiao can’t get the winner of Spence vs Porter next, then this would be a great consolation prize.
A showdown between Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao is long overdue. While both fighters were signed with Top Rank, everything was lining up perfectly for them to fight one another.
Jeff Horn ended everyones hopes for a matchup as he upset Pac-Man in their 2017 contest. Fast forward two years later and Pacquiao is still a force in the division and Crawford is arguably the best fighter in the world.
Even at the age of 40, Pacquiao is ducking absolutely no one. With both fighters associated with different networks, this could be hard to make, but there is some hope. Pacquiao still has a great relationship with Crawfords current manager Bob Arum. Hopefully he can call in a favor and give the fans the fight that they want to see.
Blessings and Lessons: Pacquaio vs. Thurman
By: Kirk Jackson
“This is a beautiful night of boxing, Manny Pacquiao is a truly great legendary champion, he got the victory over me. I wish I have a little more output to go toe-to-toe,” said Keith Thurman (29-1, 22 KO’s) in a post-fight conference after suffering his first professional defeat to Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO’s)
“You gave blessings and lessons, and tonight is a blessing and a lesson, Thank you, Manny Pacquiao.”
Sometimes people want to look the part and speak the part, but ultimately, it’s extremely difficult to be the part.
Not many can do it. It’s what separates the pedestrian from the very good, the very good from the great, the great from the extraordinary and the extraordinary from legendary.
This past weekend, Keith Thurman aimed to leap towards legendary status, by claiming the head of a legend, but fell a bit short.
To quote famous American author James Weldon Johnson, “Young man, young man, your arm’s too short to box with God.”
Timing is the variable in this scenario, in which makes the tale of Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman most intriguing.
Perception is Thurman, the younger fighter at age 30, has time on his side against the 40-year-old Pacquiao.
However, Pacquiao did not look 40-years-old in the ring the past weekend. It appears he didn’t just take a sip from the fountain of youth, he dove in the Ra’s al Ghul’s Lazarus pit.
As renowned trainer and boxing analyst Teddy Atlas alluded to, in a recent post-fight interview in the aftermath of Pacquiao-Thurman, the timing of their bout favored Pacquiao, due to the inactivity of Thurman.
Atlas questioned, “Is it worse to be old or inactive? Yeah Manny is 40-years-old, but Thurman was off for two years without a fight and only had one fight back. Inactivity can make you look old.”
“Again whatever he is drinking, I want some of it. Whatever supplements he is taking, I want some of it. He’s a special combination of speed, power and tenaciousness, mental toughness.”
While bestowing credit towards the newly crowned WBA (Super) welterweight champion in this interview, there were a few shots fired (supplements reference) – albeit along with insightful analysis of the stylistic breakdown between the two fighters.
When it comes to wins, losses and the timing at when they occur, context matters right? In spite of the observations and insight from Atlas, this win for Pacquiao is arguably his greatest win due to the difference in age of his opponent.
Now if Thurman were to have emerged victorious over Pacquiao, would he have received the same measure of credit? More than likely no, but what if’s do not matter.
Although Thurman lost to a 40-year-old fighter, that fighter has a lot left in the tank.
“I really love the fans,” said Pacquiao in an interview after the fight.
Gracious in victory, the future Hall of Famer acknowledged his toughness and how he is blessed to come out with the victory.
“Thank you so much for coming here and witnessing the fight. I’m sure they were happy tonight because they saw a good fight. Even though Thurman lost, he did his best. He’s not an easy opponent. He’s a good boxer and he’s strong. I was just blessed tonight.”
What happens from here with Pacquiao? Writing and passing laws, debating bills and amendments currently in place, and other duties as senator. But what’s next boxing wise?
“I think I will fight next year. I will go back to the Philippines and work and then make a decision,” said Pacquiao.
“I hope to be at that (Errol) Spence-(Shawn) Porter fight on Sept. 28.”
Although Thurman wants a rematch, maybe a date with the winner of Spence and Porter awaits Pacquiao for a huge showdown at some point in 2020.
Or possibly the elusive bout with Terence Crawford – who’s been dying to test his skills against Pacquiao. Mikey Garcia or Danny Garcia are lucrative options as well.
And speaking of lucrative opportunities, the biggest bag would be against the money man himself Floyd Mayweather. Although the likelihood of Mayweather returning is slim to none, stranger things have happened. History indicates anything is possible, especially whenever hundreds of millions are at stake.
What’s next for Thurman? This past weekend, was the “One-Time” he suffered defeat in his professional career. And while displaying heart and a good showing for his fight against Pacquiao, he fell short and did not do the things he discussed leading up to the fight.
Talks of retiring Pacquiao and re-assuming his claim as top dog in the welterweight division.
But as a great sportsman, Thurman didn’t complain about the decision during his post-fight interview with FOX’s Heidi Androl. “One-Time” also wanted to make amends, requesting a rematch.
“I knew it was too close,” Thurman said. “You know, he got the knockdown, so he had momentum in round one. I wanna thank the fans, thank everyone for coming out. This was a beautiful night of boxing.”
“Manny Pacquiao is a truly great, legendary champion. He got the victory over me. I wish I had a little bit more output, to go toe-to-toe. I felt like he was getting a little bit tired, but he did have experience in the ring. My conditioning, my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao. It was a great night of boxing. I would love the rematch. It is what it is, baby.”
According to CompuBox’s unofficial statistics, Thurman landed more overall punches than Pacquiao (210-of-571 to 195-of-686). CompuBox counted more power punches for Thurman (192-of-443 to 113-of-340) and more jabs for Pacquiao (82-of-346 to 18-of-128).
For Thurman, his team and his supporters, there’s good and bad he can take away from the fight. There’s definitely “lessons” learned he can employ progressing forward. Even Pacquiao stated this isn’t the last we’ll see of Thurman.
It would be a mistake to condemn Thurman and write him off due to this defeat. Pacquiao is a prime example that fighters can bounce back from defeat and achieve something greater.
The biggest lesson Thurman can employ moving forward, is to never underestimate the opponent. He may have prepared his body physically to the best shape possible given his circumstances, but there were other elements that may have needed more preparation.
From a strategic standpoint, standing toe-to-toe with Pacquiao is not a good thing. From a sweet science perspective in general, the key is to hit and not get hit.
Pick spots to attack and if you’re going to face a fighter with fast hands and reflexes, you may want to have your guard up.
Far too often, Thurman placed most of his weight on his front foot, leaning in and while having his left hand down, facing Pacquiao. That’s how he got knocked down in the first round, when Pacquiao leaped in and exploded on him.
Due to these key errors and lack of preparation, he got punched more often than he anticipated.
Speaking of preparation:
Can’t tell a grown man what to do, but gambling a night before the biggest moment of your professional career is probably not the wisest thing to do.
Everything from dismissing Pacquiao’s size, to T-Rex arm comments, to using this as a “get back fight” as opposed to the most crucial test of his career, to various tactical errors – indicate the lack of respect for the game and this defeat was reminder. Thurman was only cheating himself and this may be a valuable lesson that helps him down the line.
Another lesson is be prepared for what you ask for, because Thurman got what he asked for.
The Clearwater native sought out that one opportunity, that one bright moment, for that stage to show the world what he is made of. He relished the opportunity, to live out his dream and to test a legend. He savored the opportunity, to punch a senator. It just so happens, that senator punched back and he packed quite a punch.
Antagonistic In Leadup To Fight With Pacquiao, Thruman Is Gracious In Defeat
By: Sean Crose
“I’ve always said I’m not afraid to let my 0 go, if you can beat me — beat me. @Manny Pacquiao beat me tonight. Hats off to the Senator on a great performance. #OneTime #PacThurman”
With that single tweet, former WBA world welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman admitted outright that he was bested by the legendary and aging Manny Pacquiao on Saturday evening at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although Pacquiao was the betting favorite walking into the bout, the consensus around the serious boxing world (those who exist in or regularly report on it) seemed to be that Thurman was too young, too strong, and too big for the 40 year old Pacquiao to get the better of. The senator from the Philippians proved everyone wrong.
Employing angles, speed, and impressive power, Pacquiao literally beat the defending champion up. Not that Thurman wasn’t in the fight. Although it looked like it might be a quick evening after Pacquiao introduced Thurman to the mat late in the first round, Thurman got his act together in the middle rounds, and gave the iconic Pacquiao a true run until the Filipino icon landed a thunderous body blow late in the fight, a shot that figuratively put the nail in the coffin. Although Thurman won the match on one of the judge’s cards (welcome to Las Vegas), Pacquiao was able to carry the night with a split decision victory.
Thurman was gracious in defeat right off the bat, and has continued to be. This stands in stark contrast to the role Thurman was playing in the leadup to the bout. Usually known as a free spirit of sorts, Thurman decided to embrace the role of heavy when it came to Pacquiao. Perhaps he was simply trying to hype the fight. Perhaps he truly didn’t think Pacquiao was all that great a fighter. Or perhaps he was trying to get inside Pacquiao’s head. If the last possibility mentioned here is what motivated Thurman pre-fight, it backfired on the man explosively. Saying you’re going to “crucify” a devout Christian may get in that individual’s head. If that individual knows how to funnel anger or frustration into effective aggression, however, you may find yourself in some trouble.
Thurman had said he was going to knock Pacquiao out, that Pacquiao had “T-Rex arms,” that he was going to retire him. Now people are writing off Thurman as a serious fighter. This is ridiculous, of course. Thurman is a world class talent who performed well and bravely, despite being clearly bested on Saturday. So long as he wasn’t too damaged by Pacquiao this past weekend, a successful career may still await. No matter what happens, no one will be able to argue that Thurman hasn’t acted like a mature adult since Pacquiao took his title. “Of course, I wanted to win the fight,” the Floridian said after the match. “I fell short, but it was a blessing and a lesson because we’ve gotta do a little bit more.”
Three Takeaways: We’ll Never Doubt You Again, Manny Pacquiao
By Jonah Dylan
Saturday’s welterweight world title fight between Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao was, for my money, the best fight on the 2019 calendar so far. It was a true 50-50 fight that also had extremely high stakes, and with all the diluted A-side vs F-side fights we’ve seen so far this year, it was refreshing to see top guys actually fighting each other. Terence Crawford and Errol Spence are still miles away from each other, sure, but we’ll take what we can get.
It was a great fight. Thurman may not have been the same guy who beat Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, but he came to fight and didn’t make it easy for the 40-year-old Pacquiao. The legendary eight-division champion just had more firepower than the younger fighter, and he walked away with a well-deserved victory.
Aside from Pacquiao-Thurman, we had an easy title defense for Caleb Plant (see: A-side vs F-side), a shaky performance from Teofimo Lopez and lots of heavyweight action in London, so let’s get right into it.
1. Pacquiao-Thurman is probably the Fight of the Year
With respect to Hurd-Williams and Roman-Doheny, this was the best fight we’ve seen this year. To me, the knockdown in round one mattered a lot more than most people seem to think. Thurman was winning the round and had landed a few clean shots earlier in the round, and though it was a flash knockdown, he clearly fought a much more tactical fight early on because of it. Maybe it was a footwork problem, maybe he wasn’t prepared for Pacquiao’s power, but it changed the fight.
To me, this was the most anticipated fight of the year. You could make the argument for Canelo-Jacobs, but Canelo was the clear favorite in that fight. This was the only fight that was both a high-level fight and also a real toss-up. If you want to award FOTY based on craziness and drama, then you really have no choice but to give it to the Robert Talarek-Patryk Szymanski fight that featured 10 knockdowns in five rounds.
But if you’re factoring in what the fight meant and what it was for, it’s tough to pick against Pacquiao-Thurman. To me, you could make a case for Roman-Doheny (it was a title unification) but Saturday was the rare pay-per-view that actually lived up to the hype. Both guys didn’t let up, both guys had their moments and the right guy won in the end.
2. As good as Pacquiao looked, he shouldn’t go near Errol Spence
And I don’t think he will. Spence will meet Shawn Porter to unify welterweight belts on Sept. 28 and had probably planned to fight Thurman after as he tries to fully unify the division. He’ll want the Pacquiao fight, but my guess is there won’t be much enthusiasm from Pacquiao’s side.
He’s probably headed for a fight with former titleholder Danny Garcia, which I’m fine with. Pacquiao-Garcia would be a good fight and based on Saturday’s result, Pacquiao would probably be a slight favorite. A rematch with Thurman could also be in the cards, assuming Thurman stays active and fights high-level opponents.
After Saturday, you can make the case Pacquiao is better than pretty much anyone in the division save for Spence and Crawford. At this stage of his career, there’s no reason for him to go near either one of them. He’s already proven more than enough, and he doesn’t need to take dangerous fights just for the sake of it. Fight Thurman, or Garcia, or even Mikey Garcia, and people will line up to watch.
3. Is Teofimo Lopez ready for a world title fight?
It doesn’t really matter now, because he’s about to get one. After a clear but somewhat shaky win on Friday night, Lopez – the 2018 prospect of the year – will fight Richard Commey for the IBF lightweight world title later this year. Like Lopez, Commey is a big lightweight and will make for an intriguing matchup. Lopez showed some defensive flaws on Friday and will need to correct that before his next fight.
Top Rank’s plan is for the winner of Commey-Lopez to meet the winner of Vasiliy Lomachenko and Luke Campbell for the undisputed title in 2020. Lopez against Lomachenko would be a fascinating matchup, given that Lopez can barely make 135 pounds and Lomachenko is clearly fighting above his natural weight class. There was a lot of intrigue in the fight, especially when you look at what Lopez had been doing to the guys in front of him.
People will start pumping the breaks on the Lopez train, but there’s no reason to write him off. Lomachenko would have and still would be favored in a fight, but that doesn’t mean Lopez isn’t a real contender. Everyone has a bad night, and Lopez’s bad night ended with his hand getting raised. That’s nothing to be ashamed of.