Tag Archives: pacquiao

Mayweather Looks to Fight In Tokyo Before Pacquiao Rematch


by: Sean Crose

One of the great problems about writing about the sport of boxing is that it’s hard to discern truth from rumor much of the time. This is particularly true when it comes to popular fighters – and there is no better known fighter than Floyd Mayweather. Make no mistake about it, Mayweather can make headlines better than anyone else. He can also lead fans and journalists alike to scratch their heads as fast as a new news cycle changes. For instance, is he really planning on fighting Manny Pacquiao, as he claimed last weekend? Is he even to be considered an active fighter at this point, or one coming out of retirement yet again? Perhaps the term semi-retired will suffice. No matter. The truth is that Mayweather makes news, and – like it or not – when news about the best paid athlete in world arises, reporters have to write about it.

That’s why it’s up to the reader to decide whether or not TMZs recent report – that Mayweather will be engaging in a fight later this year in Japan sans Pacquiao – is true. “It looks like Floyd is adjusting course a bit ,” TMZ claims, “’cause sources close to TBE tell us he’s actually eyeing 2 comeback fights … starting with a massive boxing event in Tokyo.” TMZ then goes on to claim that they’re “told Floyd hasn’t yet picked an opponent — and he ain’t just lookin’ at boxers — he’s also checking out kickboxers and MMA fighters.” Mayweather sweepstakes indeed. Apparently Conor McGregor, Floyd’s most notorious (pardon the pun) opponent this side of Pacquiao, hasn’t been mentioned as a possible foil this time around. Mayweather might be an enigmatic figure, but it’s clear the man loves two things – being in the spotlight and making money. A splashy bout with a name, though likely unthreatening opponent, followed by a Pacquiao rematch would certainly give the man much of what he loves.

According to TMZ, Mayweather hasn’t chosen a date for this latest reported endeavor, but New Years Eve – a huge boxing day in Japan – is likely. One could easily see the time being scheduled so that the fight would occur the evening before New Years Eve, American time. Floyd knows how to maximize earning potential, after all. Boxing Insider will keep readers abreast of any developments concerning this story.

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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.

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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

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, Pacquiao, Lara, Oscar De La Hoya, GGG, Canelo, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 11th to September 18th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Open Letter to Fight Fans From Oscar De La Hoya

Dear Fight Fans,

On the night of Saturday, September 15, fans were set to be treated to what sports should be all about: the two best athletes in a sport squaring off against each other with the winner earning the title of the best in the business. This kind of an event – where an individual can be called the best in any sport – is truly rare.

Not only did the fight itself deliver all that was promised, against all kinds of pressure, Canelo Alvarez gave the performance of his lifetime to secure the unified middleweight championship of the world.

•Unfairly criticized for not fighting “Mexican” enough in the first fight, he kept Gennady Golovkin on his heels all night, taking the action to the “boogeyman of boxing,” walking him down and controlling the pace.

•Repeatedly ravaged for two positive drug tests that showed minor traces of clenbuterol – a common occurrence in Mexico due to the contamination of beef across the country – Canelo submitted to more than 20 drug tests in the lead up to the fight and passed them all with flying colors.

•Saddled with a judge’s card of a year ago that he had nothing to do with; the pressure of millions of fans watching; and what many were describing as a must-win to stay relevant, Canelo delivered a near-flawless fight.

And yet…

It wouldn’t be boxing if thousands of keyboard warriors weren’t talking (or tweeting) complete nonsense in the hours and days after Canelo began to cement his legacy as an all-time great fighter.

Many have told me to ignore the haters; that I’ll never win. But, while I know I won’t convince many of them, allowing them to even partly soil what was a certain Fight of the Year; a mega-event seen by millions of people; and a virtuoso performance by boxing’s marquis fighter would do a disservice to the sport I love.

So allow me to respond to a few of the more absurd comments:

Golden Boy paid the judges to fix the fight.

Though I don’t think this deserves response, here are the facts: The three judges were chosen by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Given the result of the first fight, NSAC was under a lot of scrutiny to come up with the fairest group of judges possible. For the first time I know of, Golden Boy Promotions and Team GGG were even allowed to approve a pool of judges. They saw what everyone else did; a close, competitive fight and scored it exactly that way.

Golovkin landed more punches and therefore should have won the fight.

If landed punches were the difference between winning or losing a boxing match, we would have an incredibly different and less interesting sport. Clean punching, ring generalship, effective aggressiveness and defense are what the judges are looking for in determining the winner of a round. I’m obviously a promoter, but in the four areas that actually count in judging, I can’t find one where GGG was the victor.

Tom Loeffler’s statement that he doesn’t know if Golvokin can win a decision in Las Vegas.

Perhaps Tom is just looking to make GGG feel better, but regardless this is maybe the most disappointing comment, because it comes from someone who knows the sport. Of course, GGG can win a decision in Las Vegas. But 22,000 people aren’t going to crowd into the T-Mobile Arena to watch Golovkin fight and blast out the likes of Dominic Wade, Willie Monroe, Jr., or Vanes Martirosyan. He is going to need to fight a higher level of competition – and then fight better than that opponent – to earn a victory in the mecca of boxing.

Boxing is a wonderful sport that is coming back thanks to streaming technology and growing international interest. But, it is a sport that also faces competition, not only from the outside in the form of other, more-widely watched leagues, but from inside where the fractured nature of boxing has made it tougher and tougher for the best to face the best.

Just look at celebrity row to see how special Saturday night was. There, another best-in-sport athlete, Lebron James, joined by Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg and a huge group of other A-list celebrities to witness something special.

While everyone is entitled to his or her opinion (especially in boxing), let’s take a moment to appreciate what Canelo and GGG gave us on Saturday night and work towards doing it more often for the sake of the sport we all love so much.

Erislandy Lara Wants Canelo or GGG Next

Former WBA super welterweight world champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs), felt inspired by the state of boxing after watching last Saturday night’s main event between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fought an amazing fight, it was a true classic.” said Lara. “I want to congratulate both of them for putting together such a tremendous effort to bring the spotlight back on boxing. It would be a great honor to fight either fighter, and I would love to challenge myself against them.”

Erislandy Lara has been training in Houston, Texas for his next fight with trainer Ronnie Shields, as he is working hard in the gym, getting ready for his next fight date.

“I am ready to make a statement and to challenge either fighter at middleweight, whether it is Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez in a rematch…I am ready!”
Mayweather-Pacquiao Rematch Props

After news broke that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is planning come out of retirement and return to the ring for a fight with Manny Pacquiao, BetDSI immediately posted a line on the rematch.

The online sportsbook also posted odds on the probability of the fight happening in 2018, as well as how many pay-per-view buys it will generate if it does occur.

Will Mayweather-Pacquiao II take place before Dec. 31, 2018?

Yes -150
No +120

Total PPV buys (in millions) for Mayweather-Pacquiao II (fight must occur by Dec. 31, 2018 for action)

Over 4.3 (-115)
Under 4.3 (-115)

While Vegas set the odds at Mayweather -220, Pacquiao +180, the sharper, offshore market sees Mayweather as a slightly bigger favorite.

Moneyline (fight must occur by Dec. 31, 2018 for action)
Floyd Mayweather -265
Manny Pacquiao +215

Total Rounds (fight must occur by Dec. 31, 2018 for action)
11.5 (-300)
11.5 (+200)
Berchelt and Roman Set for El Paso Rumble

WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel ‘El Alacrán” Berchelt and Miguel “Mickey” Roman went face-to-face on the arena floor of the Don Haskins Center, site of their Nov. 3 showdown that will, once and for all, settle this simmering grudge match.

Berchelt (34-1, 30 KOs), from, Cancun, Mexico, is the 26-year-old champion looking to make his fourth successful title defense. Roman (60-12, 47 KOs), from Juarez, Mexico, is a 32-year-old who will be making his third attempt at a world title.

Roman and Berchelt met the media on Monday in El Paso, the middle stop of a three-city press swing that, if anything, has stoked the rivalry between the two. Here is what they had to say 47 days away from one of the year’s most anticipated fights.

Miguel Berchelt

“I am very happy to be here. It’s my second time on ESPN. I am training very hard in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. When there are two Mexicans in the ring, the show is guaranteed to be great. This won’t be the exception.”

“In boxing, trash talk is normal. At the end of the day, we are fighters. It is going to be a great fight. The people will leave the arena happy because they are going to see a great fight. They are going to see a great champion in Miguel Berchelt.”

“Roman and I have wanted this fight for a very, very long time. He asked for this opportunity, and I am happy to give it to him. This is going to be a great fight, but I know it will end with my hands raised. I am young and hungry. It doesn’t matter that we’re fighting in his backyard. El Paso and Juarez are going to be my towns when it’s over.”

Miguel Roman

“I would like you to know I’m very happy. I feel great fighting for this belt against Miguel Berchelt. This is something that we’ve been waiting for. Now, it’s happening. I live near the border, and fighting here is like I’m fighting in my house. The people from El Paso, Juarez, and Las Cruces {New Mexico} always support me. On Nov. 3, my people are going to come and support me.”

“I’m fighting a great champion in Miguel Berchelt. He’s very strong and I respect him a lot. I gotta do what I gotta do. I gotta do my job. My experience, strength, and hunger to win this title will take me to victory.”

“He’s talking all of this stuff, that he’s going to take my head off and things like that. El Paso is my town. If he thinks he’s going to come in here and be talking like that, he’s got another thing coming.”

Berchelt-Roman and a soon-to-be announced co-feature will stream live in the United States beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. The entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

Park Theater Showdown:Ryota Murata –Rob Brant Tickets On Sale Today

Japanese superstar Ryota Murata is taking his talents halfway around the world.

Tickets for Murata’s WBA middleweight world title defense against Rob “Bravo” Brant on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Park Theater at Park MGM go on sale TODAY at 10 a.m. PST. The event is promoted by Top Rank, in association with Teiken Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions.

Tickets are priced at $204, $104, $54 and $29, not including taxes and handling fees, and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets or online at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets also can be purchased through the MGM Resorts International Call Center at 877-795-2564.

Murata-Brant will stream live in the United States beginning at 7:30 p.m. PST on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

This is the second defense of the WBA title for Murata (14-1, 11 KOs), who won the belt with a dominating seventh-round TKO over Hassan N’Dam in October 2017. Five months earlier, N’Dam handed Murata his only professional loss via a highly controversial split decision. Murata left no doubt in the rematch and defended the title in April in Yokohama, Japan, knocking out Emanuele Blandamura in the eighth round.

A 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Murata is a sports icon in Japan, as the Blandamura fight drew a peak rating of 17 million viewers on Japanese TV. Brant (23-1, 16 KOs), from St. Paul, Minn., is undefeated when fighting as a middleweight and is the WBA No. 2-ranked middleweight in the world.

HBO Replay of Canelo-GGG 2

HBO Sports presents WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: CANELO ALVAREZ VS. GENNADY GOLOVKIN 2, the exclusive replay of their highly anticipated rematch, SATURDAY, SEPT. 22 at 10:05 p.m. (ET/PT). The HBO Sports team, which was ringside at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the live HBO Pay-Per-View® presentation on Cinco de Mayo, called all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

The fight will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.

In the sport’s top prizefight of the year, middleweight champ Gennady “GGG” Golovkin put his title belts and undefeated record on the line once again against his arch-rival, superstar Canelo Alvarez, who despite his youth (27) has emerged as a box office powerhouse and one of the sport’s elite fighters. Their 12-round fight at 160-pounds took place under the bright spotlight of the T-Mobile Arena.

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Mayweather-Pacquiao Rematch May Be Officially Announced As Soon As This Week


By: Sean Crose

“We will finalize the fight this week, either Mayweather or somebody else, where and when, what date.” So says boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. In a turn of events that has taken the fight world completely off guard, it looks as if Pacquiao may indeed get his long hoped for rematch against Floyd Mayweather, who bested Pacquiao by a ho-hum unanimous decision back in 2015. The long awaited initial (and so far only) match between the two men was widely regarded as an enormous financial success, but a disappointment for fans, as the defensive minded Mayweather wisely played it safe throughout the bout.

Things got controversial after the much hyped match, however. Word reached the public that Pacquiao had sustained a shoulder injury before the bout. Then, in a development mysteriously under-reported by the mainstream media, reports emerged that Mayweather had taken an IV injection after the weigh in for the fight with the blessing of USADA, whose job it was to let people know that things were essentially on the up and up. The whole affair left a bad taste in most people’s mouths. What’s more, no one was clamoring for a rematch. Last Saturday, however, the world learned a rematch might indeed happen.

“I’m coming back,” Mayweather posted on Instagram, “to fight Manny Pacquiao this year. Another 9 figure pay day on the way.” The announcement was posted alongside a video of the two men at a Japanese night club. The fact that Pacquiao has largely, if not entirely, broken ties with longtime promoter Bob Arum means that a rematch will have an easier chance of being made that the original match did. Unlike the first bout, this one probably wouldn’t be delayed by managerial and promotional squabbling, as the Filipino icon is now essentially free to come and go without being troubled by previous burdens. In short, a rematch might be easy to make.

And, if reports from reliable sources are to be believed, negotiations are pretty much going well and the two men will announce an early December rematch this week (according to Ring Magazine’s Mike Coppinger, December 1’st and December 8 are targets). The decision of the two aging greats to face off yet again makes sense. Although people didn’t demand a rematch, enough time has passed, and each fighter has deteriorated enough, for things to look interesting. The fight might not be anywhere close to the first as far as earning potential is concerned, but it will undoubtedly be a huge affair.

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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.

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


By: Sean Crose

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

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

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

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

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

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Manny Pacquiao Reportedly Taking Top Rank To Court


By: Sean Crose

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

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

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

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

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Sylvester Stallone “About 99% Certain” Mayweather-Pacquiao II Will Happen


By: Sean Crose

Sylvester Stallone is a celebrity, not a boxer. Yet the man is so ingrained in the mind of the public as the heroic Rocky Balboa that at this point it’s easy to see how he can be mistaken for a genuine retired ring great. In other words, the guy’s name is synonymous with boxing. And when Stallone talks the sweet science, people tend to listen. That’s why the star’s recent comments to TMZ are drawing attention. “I think that’s about 99% certain it’s gonna happen,” the individual known as Sly claimed when asked if a rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is possible.

“They have every reason — honor, money, history and you got nothing better to do for the weekend,” he added with a wink. Although it will never be remembered as a classic fight, Mayweather and Pacquiao broke the bank and put boxing back in the headlines when they belatedly met in 2015. Mayweather won a one sided decision, millions groaned over the tedious nature of the battle, and those behind the match counted untold amounts of money. Just how big was the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight? So big that not even last summer’s Mayweather-McGregor novelty matchup couldn’t beat it’s pay per view record.

While there’s no question Mayweather-Pacquiao II, should it happen, would fall far short of the first fight’s revenue and viewing numbers, it would still likely be a huge pay per view success. Pacquiao just had a thrilling win over an aged Lucas Matthysse and the retired(?) Mayweather proved last year that he’s such a draw even the biggest MMA star in the world had to cross the street in order to make a Mayweather level pay check.

What’s more, people love big events, and a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch would be just that.

It’s worth noting that Stallone isn’t the top authority on the matter here. He’s a movie star who is exceedingly well regarded in the fight world. Stallone also makes it clear in the very short TMZ clip that he’s merely offering his opinion. He was asked a question regarding Pacquiao’s reported call out of Floyd this past summer after the Matthysse victory. “It’s up to him,” Pacquiao said of Mayweather at the time. “If he wants to come back in boxing let’s do a second one.”

Pacquiao’s impressive summer performance, coupled with Mayweather’s age, could make things interesting should the aging greats meet once more.

Then again…

Read more at: http://www.tmz.com/2018/08/15/sylvester-stallone-mayweather-pacquiao-rematch/

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Brave Buboy: Coaching Takeaways from the Victory of Team Pacquiao


By: John Tsoi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dear Kuya Manny: Please Retire at 60


By: Benre Zenarosa

Dear Kuya Manny,

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

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

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

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

“What fight?” I responded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, I hope you lend your ears this time.

Sincerely yours,

Ben

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

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How Relevant is Manny Pacquiao Now?


By: Charles Jay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are three champions of note in the welterweight division:

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

* IBF – Errol Spence 24-0, 21 KO’s

* WBA – Keith Thurman 28-0, 22 KO’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What’s Next for Pacquiao?


By: Oliver McManus

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

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

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

What next for Pacquiao, then?

RETIREMENT

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

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

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

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

AMIR KHAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VASYL LOMACHENKO

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

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

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

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

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

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

JEFF HORN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pacquiao vs. Matthysse Fight Quotes


Future Hall of Famer and Filipino superstar Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (60-7-2, 38 KOs) scored a seventh-round knockout victory against Argentine knockout artist Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs) to capture the WBA Welterweight World Title at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pacquiao scored a knockdown in round three with a left uppercut, and then forced Matthysse to take a knee in the fifth round with a shot to the temple. Pacquiao dropped Matthysse with another left uppercut in the seventh round, forcing referee Kenny Bayless to end matters at 2:43 of the aforementioned round.

“I was surprised because Matthysse is a very tough opponent and I knocked him down,” said Manny Pacquiao. “So that’s a bonus from being focused and patient in the fight and working hard in training camp. We [my team] did a good job in training. We controlled ourselves during training. It was a heavy training. Thanks to all my team for working hard for this fight.

“That’s another story and another discussion. Right now I’m happy to go back to my country in the Philippines and to celebrate my victory and of course with my fellow countrymen, doing my job as a public servant. We’re planning for that [returning this year]. But we haven’t decided yet. Right now my focus is to go back to my country and relax.”

“Fighting Manny Pacquiao [is the most difficult part about fighting Pacquiao],” said Lucas Matthysse. “He’s a great fighter. He’s a great champion. You win some, and you lose some. Today was my turn to lose, but I lost to a great fighter and a great legend in Manny Pacquiao. First I would like to rest and go back home. The hard work has been done. The fight has taken place. I lost, but I walk away with my head raised. I’m sorry to Argentina, but I’m fine. Thank you for all the love and support, and we’ll be seeing all my family and friends soon.”

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Pacquiao Demolishes Matthysse In Seven


By: Sean Crose

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


Photo Credit: ESPN Twitter Account

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

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

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

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

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

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

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