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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



BACK TO MACAU FOR MANNY?

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
17 Apr 2014



After beating Timothy Bradley convincingly to regain the WBO welterweight crown in Las Vegas last weekend, Manny Pacquiao declared he’s got a lot of fight left in him for the next two years.

Pacquiao, 35, is rumored to being groomed as a senatorial candidate in 2016 so if that’s where he’s headed, his boxing timetable is right on the track. He should be ready to hang up his gloves by the time the senatorial elections come around.
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum will only be too happy to accommodate Pacquiao who’s far from finished as a crowd drawer and box office attraction. Arum said fans are better off spending their hard-earned money on a Pacquiao fight than a Floyd Mayweather Jr. farce. He called the May 3 duel between Mayweather and Argentinian slugger Marcos Maidana “absolute crap.”

Pacquiao was almost written off by boxing experts after losing back-to-back to Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. The loss to Bradley was highly disputed but the setback to Marquez was frighteningly decisive – Pacquiao was knocked out cold by a single right hand in the sixth round. It took nearly a year before Pacquiao staged his comeback and did it in style, trouncing the supposedly fearsome Brandon Rios in Macau. Then, Pacquiao re-established his supremacy in the 147-pound division by repulsing the previously unbeaten Bradley.

“I can fight two more years,” said Pacquiao. “I’m so happy to be a world champion again. If they want to make a fight with Marquez, that’s fine.”

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said there aren’t too many big-money opponents left for the Filipino. One is Marquez and the other is Mayweather. Sooner or later, Roach said Pacquiao will square things with Marquez and face off against Mayweather. Marquez, however, has to get by Mike Alvarado on May 17 to line himself up for a fifth encounter with the Filipino. Mayweather is expected to crush Maidana then probably fight another patsy, perhaps Amir Khan, before finally agreeing to battle Pacquiao early next year. Once Mayweather and Pacquiao come to terms, they may even extend their rivalry to a trilogy.

Arum said Pacquiao’s next fight might be in Macau. That could happen if Pacquiao is still hounded by the IRS. “They (Macau) want to bring Manny back,” said Arum. “But we’ll sit down and talk to Manny and see what he wants to do. I thought he looked sensational and I thought he and Tim gave the fans a hell of a show. Manny was the aggressor. Why wouldn’t the people be entertained by that kind of spectacle? I’m very proud of both fighters. And in three weeks, you guys are going to promote and encourage people to spend money on absolute crap.”

Las Vegas Review Journal columnist Ed Graney said Arum has a point. “Mayweather is a 12-1 favorite,” he wrote. “His fights long ago became like deciding whether or not to attend the US-Russia hockey medal-round game in the 1980 Olympics.”

A sellout crowd of 15,601 attended the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch, an indication that the US market is still enamored with the Filipino. And Pacquiao gave the fans their money’s worth, reprising his old dervish ways by dazzling Bradley with his foot and hand-speed. Pacquiao opted to box with prudence and didn’t want to get in the way of a loose missile.

Pacquiao insisted he hasn’t slowed down even as his last win by knockout came in 2009 or eight fights ago. “I haven’t changed my style, the way I fight in the ring,” he said. “All I can say is religion has not hurt my boxing career. It’s helped me. I stopped gambling, stopped drinking, stopped with the girls. All of us need a relationship with God, that’s the most important thing. I’m not introducing religion. I’m just reading the Bible, day and night. It’s our manual to life. When you have trials in your life, you lean on God.”

Pacquiao said talk of retirement is “not for me” and assured that “my boxing journey will continue.” Before the Bradley rematch, there was doubt as to whether Pacquiao should keep fighting. After thrashing the Desert Storm, Pacquiao proved it’s not over – at least, not for another two years.


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