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Does Manny Pacquiao care to fight?


PhilBoxing.com




SOMETHING funny happened on the way to San Juan, Puerto Rico where a major announcement was supposed to be made shortly on Manny Pacquiao?s next opponent.

The messenger lost his way.

?Manny Pacquiao cannot make up his mind,? reported top ESPN writer Dan Rafael.

**

Promoter Bob Arum earlier assured that Pacquiao?s foe for his scheduled final bout on April 9 would be made known during the major card that saw Nonito Donaire winning the WBO super bantamweight crown in a savage survival test against tough Mexican underdog Cesar Juarez yesterday.

Donaire dominated the early rounds but visibly slowed down after spraining his ankle to become a predictable target mainly in the closing rounds. Tested to the fullest, Donaire offered the protesting Juarez a rematch.

Anyway, two lead bets for Pacquiao?s next foe were both at ringside in the Roberto Clemente Coliseum yesterday. Terence Crawford, the unbeaten WBO light welterweight champion, as personal guest of promoter Bob Arum; WBO welterweight king Tim Bradley as fight commentator.

**

Sorry, no announcement for now, said a statement from Top Rank Promotions.

Top Rank explained that Pacquiao could not make a choice yet.
It was not clear when Pacquiao would finally pick his foe; or if the Filipino boxing superstar has been given a deadline.

**

Wrote Ben Thompson of FightHype: ?We?re told that the most likely scenario is that Pacquiao probably prefers to face Bradley, but Arum would rather he fight Crawford, so they need more time for both sides to get on the same page.?

It has become truly testy for Team Pacquiao to make a choice.
Crawford (27-0, 19 KOs) was initially rated too young, strong and hungry by trainer Freddie Roach, but it did not take long before the multi-awarded fight mentor made a turn-around and say the fast-rising star from Omaha should be a perfect partner in Pacquiao?s farewell bout.

All the while, Bradley was on the fringes, while talks of negotiations for a Pacquiao bout against former stablemate Amir Khan swirled.

Then Khan was suddenly out of the picture, and Bradley started to figure prominently in the lottery for Pacquiao?s next opponent.

**

Experts are divided on Crawford. There are those who feel the phenomenal switch-hitter could be too strong and hot for Pacquiao to handle. Still there is a view Crawford could be both raw and inexperienced to enter the ring with the battle-tested eight-division world title winner.

As for Bradley, the original feel was that he would be a more convenient opponent due to Pacquiao?s familiarity with the reigning WBO welterweight champion, having split his two previous bouts with Bradley.

Of course, experts have started to view Bradley in a new light following his KO conquest of former world champ Brandon Rios. It?s no secret Bradley has become doubly dangerous following the hiring of the legendary Teddy Atlas as trainer.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Recah Trinidad.


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