By: Eric Lunger
Manny Pacquiao, the former eight-division world champion and current Filipino Senator, is looking for a comeback bout against current 130-pound kingpin Vasyl Lomachenko, according to reports by ABS-CBN news, a media outlet in Quezon City, Philippines.
Pacquiao, 39, dropped a 12-round decision to Jeff Horn in July of last year, and many observers thought that loss would mark the end of his incredible, hall-of-fame career. “I’m not retired yet,” the indefatigable Pacman said on a Filipino talk show.
Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account
Lomachenko, the former two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, has ten professional wins and one loss (a split decision to Orlando Salido early in Loma’s pro career). More relevant than his record is the fact that he made his last four opponents quit on their stools: Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, and Nicholas Walters. Many folks in the boxing world have the Ukrainian phenom at or near the top of their pound-for-pound rankings.
Bob Arum, long-time Pacman promoter who has also added Lomachenko to the TopRank stable, wants to feature Pac vs Loma on April 21, on the same card as the welterweight clash between Jeff Horn and Terence “Bud” Crawford, again according to ABS-CBN reports.
Pacquiao told ABS-CBN that an April date would allow sufficient time for a full training camp, and would mesh with his duties as a Senator, as the Filipino Congress will be in recess during the month of April. Arum is working on hosting the bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but may face scheduling conflicts with the NHL’s Golden Knights, who are on track to qualify for the playoffs, according to reports in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Another option, according to Arum, would be April 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The fight certainly makes sense financially, but, at age 39, does the Pacman want to test himself against Lomachenko’s formidable speed and ethereal skill? And what weight class makes sense for this bout? Is Lomachenko going to want to go anywhere north of 135? There are other unanswered questions, but boxing fans around the world will want to see the old lion Pacquiao roar once more.
Top Rank on ESPN Preview: Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn
By: William Holmes
In rather surprising news in the month of June, Top Rank announced a partnership with ESPN to showcase some of their fighters on the network in live fights. HBO has long been the home for most of Top Rank’s fighters, but this announcement indicates that Top Rank is willing to go elsewhere to televise fights.
Top Rank has decided to showcase their biggest draw, Manny Pacquiao, on ESPN on July 1st live from SunCorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. This will be the first time in over a decade that Manny Pacquiao will not be fighting on PPV.
The undercard will feature several prospects that boxing fans should be keep an eye on. Prospects such as Brock Jarvis, Umar Salamov, Shane Mosley Jr., and Irish Olympian Michael Conlan are all scheduled to compete.
The following is a preview of the WBO World Welterweight Championship match between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao.
Jeff Horn (16-0-1) vs. Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2); WBO Welterweight Championship
Jeff Horn is not very well known in the United States, but he is the mandatory challenger for Manny Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight Championship. Even though he will be a massive underdog, one can not overlook the fact that he will be fighting in front of his home crowd of Brisbane, Australia and that 60,000 screaming fans can only help him.
Horn has an edge on most of the physical intangibles. He is twenty eight years old and ten years younger than Manny Pacquiao. He will also have a three inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage. The speed advantage obviously lies with Manny Pacquiao, as does the power advantage. Jeff Horn has eleven stoppages against B level opposition while Pacquiao has stopped thirty eight opponents, including some over the best the sport of boxing has to offer.
Jeff Horn has fought every single fight in his career either in Australia or New Zealand. He’s been very active and fought three times in 2016 and four times in 2015. Four of his first seven opponents had losing records, but despite the fact he’s never faced elite competition every one of his opponents since then has had a winning record.
Horn also has a notable amateur background as he made it to the quarterfinals in the 2012 Summer Olympics while representing Great Britain. Pacquiao, as is well known, was able to make the Philippine National Amateur Team but turned professional at the age of sixteen.
Horn’s most notable victories have come against Ali Funeka, Rico Mueller, Viktor Potnikov, and Randall Bailey. It should be noted that Horn got knocked down by Bailey, but was able to recover and have Bailey quit on the stool during round nine.
Pacquiao seems intent on taking his show around the world and is already looking past this fight to fight in the Philippines in his next bout. Australia will be the sixth country that Pacquiao has competed in.
Pacquiao has defeated the likes of Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, David Diaz, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and Lehlo Ledwaba.
His losses were to Timothy Bradley Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Erik Morales, and losses early on in his career to Medgoen Singsurat and Rustico Torrecampo.
Pacquiao is a giant favorite and this is probably why the bout will be taking place on free television instead of pay per view. However, Jeff Horn has a better chance of beating Pacquiao than McGregor has at beating Mayweather.
Additionally, Pacquiao is thirty eight years old and has been in some brutal wars inside the ring. A boxer can age overnight and that age often shows against an opponent that nobody expects to win.
Report: Pacquiao To Face Horn In April
By: Sean Crose
Credit ESPNs Dan Rafael with breaking the news:
Manny Pacquiao will be defending his WBO world welterweight title against Jeff Horn on April 22nd . Rafael reports that the sight of the fight is unknown, but Horn’s native Australia is a distinct possibility (as is Dubai). Other outlets, however, are reporting that the bout will definitely be held in Australia. FOX SPORTS Australia, for instance, has referred to the yet-to-be-announced match as “the biggest fight in Australian history.” Historians may beg to differ, as Australia is where the legendary Jack Johnson wrested the heavyweight title from Tommy Burns over a hundred years ago. The point, however, is clear: the fight will be a big deal in the land down under should it in fact, be fought there.
Horn, a little known commodity in the United States, is undefeated at 17-0 and is ranked number two by the WBO at welterweight, behind old Pacquiao foe Tim Bradley. That means he’s far from a tomato can despite his lack of popularity. Still, Horn isn’t an opponent fans have been clamoring for Pacquiao to face. That honor would go to one Terrence Crawford, the junior welterweight maestro who many feel stands a good chance of besting the guy called PacMan. While the Horn fight might be a big deal in Pacquiao’s homeland of the Philippines and in Australia itself, it’s hard to view the affair as a megafight of global proportions.
Pacquiao’s last bout, against Jessie Vargas, was far from pay per view gold, after all, and it’s hard to imagine a fight against Horn doing much better – if, of course, it appears in America via pay per view. If the fight were to appear on say, HBO or Showtime, however, it’s easy to see the ratings being huge indeed. Pacquiao, after all, is still one of the biggest names in the sport. With HBO spending far less than it used to on boxing these days, however, it will be interesting to see where the bout ends up.
Life is now more hectic than ever for Pacquiao. Besides being one the most well paid and famous athletes on earth, he’s also a member of the Filipino Senate, a position which takes up much of the man’s time. It’s clear the gentleman still loves to fight, though, or at least loves the money he earns from the ring, for he continues on with his career, even though he’s now pushing forty years of age. It’s worth noting, however, that Pacquaio is still a top level fighter – and that Horn will most likely have his hands full come this spring.
Will Manny Pacquiao Walk Back His Praise for Murderous Rodrigo Duterte?
By Ivan G. Goldman
We’ve seen how it works. Manny Pacquiao says something stupid or obnoxious and his promoter Bob Arum gets him to take it back, limiting the damage. But this time it might not be so easy.
Senator Pacquiao has praised Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, a murderous lout who brags about sending death squads into the streets to eliminate drug dealers and users. Pacquiao will once more face U.S. and other Western journalists when he makes the final media push to draw a crowd for the Nov. 5 defense of his WBO welterweight title against Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas.
The senator/prizefighter is a political ally of Duterte, so if he follows his usual practice of toning down his previous words in order to sell his brand on this side of the world he could get himself in deep trouble back home.
Remember when he either implied or stated outright that gays should be put to death because it says so in the bible? Precisely what he said remains unclear. But eventually, after conferring with Arum, he contended he was only opposing gay marriage, not calling for the slaughter of gay folks.
Whatever he said, Nike decided it was bad enough to drop his endorsement contract earlier this year. However, had Pacquiao kayoed Floyd Mayweather in the “fight of the century” last year instead of losing a dull decision, Nike might have found another course.
“In the past administrations people didn’t respect the law, the leader, the authorities,” Pacquiao said in one of his milder rationalizations for street murders. “What Duterte is trying to do is let the people know – and put it in their hearts and minds – that you need to respect the law of the land.”
Well, that’s one way to put it. Another way is to observe that his pal Duterte is an ignorant homicidal brute who thinks about as deeply as a thin-crust pizza pan. Pacquiao’s pronouncements in his favor leave Arum in a sizeable pickle.
It’s hard to say how many victims Duterte can claim, but it appears to be in the thousands. Infamously alluding to Hitler, he said he doesn’t much care if he has to kill millions.
“If you destroy my country, I’ll kill you. That’s a legitimate thing,” Duterte said. “If you destroy our young children, I will kill you. That is a very correct statement.”
Once you condone murder it’s impossible to know where it stops, but you can bet it won’t lead to a drug-free paradise. Some folks will decide they’ve found an opportune moment to eliminate enemies and claim later they were drug criminals. When there’s no judicial review, how do you prove otherwise? In any case the victims are already dead, aren’t they?
Pacquiao recently filed a bill to reinstate the death penalty for drug-related crimes and worked in the Senate to tamper down a human-rights investigation of Duterte’s street justice. Clearly Manny the senator isn’t living up to the achievements of Manny the prizefighter.
Manny the prizefighter was no longer of interest to me after he stepped into the ring against Mayweather with a bum shoulder. He later claimed his motive was to stay true to his fans, but many of his fans placed sizeable wagers on him, as he well knew. He proceeded with the contest to stay true to his purse.
After covering Pacquiao for years I see no reason to believe he could run the economy and foreign affairs of a huge country like the Philippines. Yet he’s looking to be president some day. He lacks education, yes, but that’s not why he falls short.
Abraham Lincoln’s education was also limited, but he showed tremendous intellectual curiosity, which led to tremendous knowledge and the ability to use it to improve the world around him. Lincoln often referred to thinkers such as Shakespeare, Robert Burns, Euclid, and yes the bible. Pacquiao’s citations are limited to the bible.
When voters seek out talented political leaders they could do worse than looking back at how giants such as Lincoln, Churchill, or Washington ran the show. Limiting your perspective to folks like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump leads you to choices like Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump.
So how will Pacquiao perform in the ring against Vargas? Forgive me if I don’t much care, though I do care about the health of both fighters. I respect what Pacquiao accomplished in the past. He was a special fighter, but he’ll be 38 in December and he’s taken a lot of punches. He shouldn’t absorb any more of them.
Pacquiao has already earned, according to Forbes, $500 million. He ought to go home, read about Lincoln, and see where that takes him.
Fulbright Scholar Ivan Goldman, who’s won numerous awards from the Boxing Writers Association, wrote about politics in his whimsical futuristic novel Exit Blue, which is available at https://www.amazon.com/Exit-Blue-Ivan-G-Goldman/dp/0930773942/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 and at tasteful bookstores around the globe.
New Filipino Senator Manny Pacquiao Wants Some Criminals To Hang – Literally
By: Sean Crose
New Filipino Senator Manny Pacquiao wants the death penalty to be employed in his homeland. Oh, and he wants the method of execution to be hanging. And you thought Pacquiao was menacing in the ring. Sure enough, the boxing legend turned politician is making waves at his new job by desiring to bring law and order to his nation through a very, shall we say, unique method – at least by modern standards. Isaac Parker, the famous hanging judge of the Old West, would clearly be pleased. “Death penalty,” Pacquiao is quoted as saying, “to me, is a just retribution for a crime committed by a certain person.” http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/572440/news/nation/manny-pacquiao-to-push-for-death-penalty-by-hanging
So, just who would Pacquiao execute? Some of those involved in the illegal narcotics business, to be sure. The same goes for many rapists. Some kidnappers would be sent to the hangman, as well. Make no mistake about it – Pacquiao’s approved method of law enforcement may seem harsh here in the modern United States, but the people being targeted by the PacMan aren’t the nicest bunch, either. For the record, the Filipino death penalty was abolished around a decade ago.
Why hanging, though? Isn’t that particularly harsh? The famous brawler doesn’t seem to think so. To the contrary, actually.
“Pacquiao,” GMA reports, “believed that hanging is more ‘humane’ not only for the death convict but also for the medical personnel who have to assist in carrying out the death sentence despite their personal beliefs and convictions.” With all this in mind the news organization also made it clear that no specific form of execution is presented in a bill Pacquiao “will file.”
Of course, the new senator has more than just crime fighting on his mind. He’s also said to be in support of creating fitness centers for the public, military training for eleventh and twelfth graders, and, of course, a national boxing commission (no surprise there, really). All things considered, it’s clear the politician has a lot on his plate at the moment.
Still, there are those who feel he will return to the ring, perhaps sooner than later. Talk recently has been of a potential match between himself and perennial loudmouth Adrien Broner…unquestionably an entertaining, if not a top level, pairing. Sure enough, Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum is said to have held a date in October in Vegas (at the Mandalay Bay) just in case the iconic multi-division champ decides to come back after a typically short boxer’s retirement.
It’s hard to imagine how the man will be able to focus on politics as well as prize fighting, however. Perhaps Pacquiao will simply decide that he can’t engage in both activities anymore. After all, he’s quite occupied as it is. For instance, on top of his other responsibilities, Pacquiao is also planning on memorizing his country’s constitution.
Next we’ll find out Michael Buffer will be reciting the Gettysburg Address on pay per view.
Weekly Round Up of Asian Boxing
By: Ben Underwood
TACONING’S WORLD TITLE CALL
4 years is a long time to wait for a second title shot, but that is exactly how long Filipino Light Flyweight Jonathan Taconing had to wait for his shot. With a record of 22-2-1 (18 ko’s) Taconing is rumoured get his shot on June 11th against mexican champion Ganigan Lopez, although the bout is still awaiting official confirmation it is set to be officially announced withing the next few days.
It is said by sources that the bout will be staged in the arena coliseo in Mexico, so Taconing will be giving away home advantage to Lopez, but Jonathan is no stranger to these shores as last year he was seen beating Ramon Garcia Hirales in 10. This came after a failed but highly controversial title tilt against Thai champion Kompayak Porpramook for the WBC bauble. While Taconing appeared to be well in control a cut to Porpramook was deemed to be from a clash of heads and the Thai veteran was the winner by a shut out decision after 5 rounds.
Lopez is making his first defence of the WBC title that he won from Japanese Yu Kimura so impressively. Although Lopez is pushing 35, he is a former WBC silver champion at Minimumweight in which he won from Omar Soto and a multiple WBC latino champion at, Minimum, Light Flyweight and Flyweight.
The mexican is certainly no slouch and Taconing will have to be on his guard for however long the bout lasts. Lopez,a southpaw will also have to be alert as the Filipino has that aggressive,heavy handed style and with a point to prove.
AKAHO BACK WITH A WIN
After losing his WBO world title bid to champion Pungluang Sor Singyu last August, Ryo Akaho of Japan went over old ground in an entertaining battle with Toyoto Shiraishi . Both men were at a crossroads in their careers,which meant that they had everything to fight for.
The two fighters who fought each other for the OPBF Super Flyweight championship, which ended in a TKO victory for Akaho. Now both are fighting as Bantamweights and they didnt disappoint as the Japanese crowd was treated to this all or nothing encounter.Even though Shiraishi was delivery the better boxing and was marking up Akaho around the left eye, it was Ryo that was landing the heavier blows. Shiraishi started to slow by the fifth and Akaho’s big shots started to get through more frequently. In the sixth Toyoto was dumped on the canvas and was sytematically outworked in the last two rounds to go down a points loser to Ryo Akaho.
Akaho now 27-2-2 (18 KOs) can now look forward to bigger fights, perhaps another crack at a version of the world title. Shiraishi who falls to 26-10-3 (12 KO’s) showed he is game and can compete comfortably at OPBF level.
Scores were 77-76,78-74 and 79-72 which I think was an injustice to Toyoto Shiraishi.
FORMER JAPANESE MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION HALTED
Rising talent Hironobu Matsunaga had his biggest test to date when he came up against former national champion Sanosuke Sasaki. Sasaki,who won the title by knocking out veteran Tadashi Yuba and then losing it 4 months later to Tomohiro Ebisu, had all he could handle with Matsunaga at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
Sasaki came out trying to establish the jab in the first round ,which seemed to do the job and take the first round. Success was short lived as Matsunaga worked out a way around that jab and started to throw more combinations that seemed to unsettle Sasaki. Hironobu, confidence growing rapidly,was marking Sasaki with his meaty shots and by round four the inevitable knockdown came with a further point taken from Sanosuke for holding,making round four a 10-7 round.
Matsunaga sensed the end by round five and came out to draw the fight to the conclusion everybody was expecting and made the referee intervene and stop the bout.
Matsunaga was impressive and his record is now 10-1 (5 KO’s),while Sasaki loses his fourth fight on the spin with a record of 11-5 (5 KO’s).
KONO HAS BEEN ORDERED BY THE WBA
WBA Super Flyweight champion Kohei Kono has been given his orders to negotiate a fight with Luis Conception ,the Interim champion for the WBA. Conception made himself manatory by beating Hernan Marquez via unaminous decision and the two men have been given a 30 day free period to negotiate.
This unification match will see Kono fight two mandatory fighters in a row ,while Conception,an Interim champion at both Flyweight and Super Flyweight has his first attempt at a world title. There is no anouncement on where the fight will be and what date it will be staged on.
OPBF WELTERWEIGHT MATCH UP COMES TO JAPAN
Australian OPBF welterweight king Jack Brubaker will be making his second defense of his crown by fighting on away soil against (24-1,8 KO’s) Suyon Takayama. It will be Brubaker’s first time fighting away from his native country and is a step up in class for both boxers. The bout is said to be taken place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo with the date being confirmed as July 25th.
Brubaker ripped the crown from Xing Xin Yang in August last year with a knockout and has a 10-1-1,5 KO’s ledger.
Kubo Retains Title in Kobe
By: Ben Underwood
Unbeaten Super Bantamweight Shun Kubo defended his OPBF title successfully with a 12 round unaminous decision against Benjie Suganob. The tall southpaw used his jab effectively in the early stages of the battle keeping Filipino Suganob on the outside. Meanwhile Suganob was searching for a way in and got his chance in the 5th stanza as he upped the tempo as he made the champion look uneasy momentarily .Kubo of Japan, regained composure and started to land hard left hands that made suganob take notice, which kept him away for the next three rounds.
In round nine Benjie came on strong again , trying to claw back the scores from the tired Kubo, but it seemed to be too little too late for the game Suganob as he could not decrease Shun’s lead. In the end the judges were all in agreement and thought Shun Kubo was a deserved winner with scores of 117-113, 115-112, 115-113 to retain his title in which he won in december by Knocking out Lloyd Jardeliza of the philippines. Now Kubo excels with a new record of 10-0 7 KO’s and is WBC ranked 11th. Benjie Suganob adds another setback to his record and is now 10-5-1 with 5 KO’s.
It’s Now Senator Pacquiao
By: Sean Crose
According to reports on Tuesday, Manny Pacquiao had indeed won – or was on the verge of winning, depending on the source – a senatorial position in his homeland of the Philippines. According to ABC Online, “the winner of an unprecedented eight world championships had garnered 15.2 million votes, more than enough to enter the Senate.” Although the iconic star from Kibawe has been involved in his nation’s politics for some time, (he was made a congressman of Serengani Provence in 2010) a senate victory would (or will) reportedly change his life considerably. Unlike the Filipino Congress, the country’s senate is said to offer a more demanding schedule for the boxing great.
What this all means for Pacquiao’s fighting career remains to be seen, though he officially declared himself retired last month after a successful third fight against old foe Tim Bradley in Vegas. For Pacquiao’s retirement proclamation appeared halfhearted at times. Indeed, the man made it clear that his family was pressuring him to leave the ring behind. And probably not without good reason, as the man is pushing forty and has literally earned hundreds of millions of dollars throughout his illustrious career, which began over 20 years ago.
Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s longtime promoter, himself stated publicly that now that Pacquiao has (reportedly) won a senate seat, he has to focus on the task at hand and leave the boxing ring behind. And although some argue that Arum may well be saying such things because Pacquiao’s last fight was a pay per view bomb, there is ample evidence to indicate that the poverty stricken Philippines needs the full focus of its leaders. With a whopping one in four of all Filipinos reportedly living below the line of poverty, theirs is a nation inarguably in need of help and sound direction.
Still, the prize ring can offer a siren song that has led many to the rocks. To be sure, Pacquiao, wealthy though he may be, is known for his generosity. Another Mayweather fight could prove to be quite appealing the man, should the opportunity present itself. What’s more, many noted athletes have been known to feel unfulfilled after their sporting careers have ended. As athletic psychologist John F Murray once told livescience.com, “When your whole life has been geared toward athletic excellence, the prospects of retirement can be dreadful!” Whether or not that’s true of a sitting senator remains to be seen.