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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Spence out of picture?

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
28 Mar 2019



WBA welterweight champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s chief trainer Buboy Fernandez said the other day he prefers former WBC welterweight and WBA/WBC super lightweight titlist Danny Garcia as the Filipino icon’s next opponent if Floyd Mayweather, Jr. isn’t available, striking out IBF 147-pound ruler Errol Spence, Jr. from the queue.

Fernandez, who received the Best Trainer of the Year honor at the Elorde Awards Night in the Okada Hotel and Casino last Monday, said Mayweather is Pacquiao’s priority. He’s confident that sooner or later, Mayweather will come to terms for a rematch. However, fans are hoping it will be sooner than later because Mayweather’s not getting any younger----he turned 42 last month.

A source said Mayweather continues to spend like there’s no tomorrow and when the money runs out, he’ll come calling for Pacquiao who’s the only guaranteed boxing draw to deliver millions in the bank. Over the last few years, Mayweather's buys have included a $25 Million mansion in Los Angeles that includes a candy shop, a 12-seat cinema and a 225-bottle wine rack, an $18 Million watch called “The Billionaire,” a $4.7 Million Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita (one of only two cars in the world) and a $60 Million Gulfstream G650 jet.

What’s making Mayweather hesitate may be Pacquiao’s impressive win over Adrien Broner in Las Vegas last January. He could be worried that a rematch might pin the first loss in his undefeated career because he considers his 50-0 record a legacy.

“Broner fights like Mayweather,” said Fernandez in Pilipino. “Mayweather was at ringside when Manny fought Broner and saw for himself how good Manny still is. Maybe, Mayweather got worried.”

Fernandez recalled that in their meeting in 2015, Pacquiao suffered a torn rotator cuff in the right shoulder in the fourth round and battled Mayweather with one arm until the end. Mayweather won on a unanimous decision but not a few ringsiders felt it should’ve gone Pacquiao’s way despite the injury. “Imagine if Manny pushed Mayweather to the limit with one arm, he’ll dominate with two arms,” said Fernandez who’s running for Vice Mayor in Polangui, Albay, in the May elections.

Fernandez said Broner tried to counter Pacquiao like Juan Manuel Marquez did in 2012. “We learn from every fight,” he said. “Manny’s opponents think if they fight him like Marquez, they can win. That’s what Broner thought. But we’ve adjusted. Now, we know better. I don’t see Manny slowing down even if he’s 40. I look at his legs, his footwork and he’s as fast as he was before. When he starts slowing down, it will show in his footwork. What we’ve done is to adjust his training program so he’s never burned out. He used to like to go 35 rounds in a day while training for a fight. He doesn’t do that anymore. We start the week running up the hills on a Monday. The next day, he might skip running in the morning and go straight to the gym for sparring. Sometimes, he’ll do a day off, take a break to rest and recover, depending on how his body feels. When it’s time to fight, he’s fresh and ready to go.”

Fernandez said Garcia would be a perfect opponent because he’s an exciting come-forward fighter who won’t step back from a slugfest. Garcia, 30, is Puerto Rican and has beaten the likes of Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Brandon Rios, Paul Malignaggi, Erik Morales, Zab Judah and Mauricio Herrera. He fights dangerous Adrian Granados on April 20 and a win will keep his hopes alive for a crack at Pacquiao. Strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune and two-time world champion Gerry Penalosa also prefer Garcia as Pacquiao’s next opponent if Mayweather isn’t ready.

Another option is “super” WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman. Since Pacquiao is the “regular” WBA titlist, a showdown with Thurman will settle once and for all who should exclusively wear the WBA belt. But Fernandez said a Garcia fight will be a better sell at the box office. “Fans like a match-up between a Filipino and Latino more than a Filipino and an American,” said Fernandez. “I think there will be more pay-per-view buys for Manny against Garcia than Manny against Thurman or Spence.”

Fernandez said facing Spence is a low priority. “Manny has nothing to prove against Spence,” he said. “It’s not that we’re ducking Spence. It’s just that the priority is Mayweather and we don’t want to spoil the chance of a rematch. I think the rematch will happen. The fans want it. Everyone wants to find out if Manny, with two good arms, can beat Mayweather.”


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