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‘Big shot’ awaits Manny


PhilBoxing.com




KUALA LUMPUR. Head trainer Buboy Fernandez said yesterday newly-crowned WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has two up to three more fights left before hanging up his gloves and what’s down the road could be the “big shot,” a rematch with unbeaten Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Before even reaching out to Mayweather, Fernandez said Pacquiao could fight once more but declined to name a possible opponent. Pacquiao said he’s excited to stake his title, maybe in November. Someone mentioned Amir Khan as a candidate challenger and Pacquiao didn’t rule out his former sparmate.

“It’s really up to Manny,” said Fernandez. “He’ll decide what to do next. My job is to be ready for whatever he wants me to do. I’m not expecting to be named his permanent head trainer. I’m grateful that he gave me the honor of being the head trainer for the fight against (Lucas) Matthysse.”

Senate President Tito Sotto said it was evident that in the Matthysse fight, there was order in Pacquiao’s corner. “That wasn’t the case in the (Jeff) Horn fight,” he said. “I thought the corner seemed a little disorganized. But Buboy did a good job of controlling the corner against Matthysse.” Fernandez said he wanted to make sure there would be only one voice in the corner to avoid overlapping and overstepping.

Pacquiao’s long-time adviser Michael Koncz, who arrived here the night before the fight, said he’d like only one more bout for the champion. “I don’t want Manny putting his health at risk,” he said. “You can’t fight forever. I’m thinking just one more fight. But it won’t be Mayweather. Let’s face it, Mayweather’s not stupid. He had a hard time beating Manny in their first fight and Manny wasn’t 100 percent. If ever Mayweather agrees to a rematch, it’ll be in Las Vegas. He won’t fight anywhere else. He certainly won’t fight in the Philippines. At the moment, Mayweather is retired and there are no indications that he’ll come out of another retirement.”

Koncz said Pacquiao was six times better than he was against Horn in demolishing Matthysse. “It was like Manny dominating Erik Morales in their third fight,” said Koncz. “The speed, power, combinations and footwork were back. I haven’t seen Manny perform that way in a long, long time.”

A possible opponent for the future is WBA lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine. But he recently underwent shoulder surgery and will be out until October. If ever Pacquiao and Lomachenko face off, it could be in the lightwelterweight division where the limit is 140 pounds.

Australian promoter and matchmaker Peter Maniatis, who watched the Pacquiao demolition of Matthysse at ringside, had an interesting suggestion. “I think if Pacquiao fights Lomachenko, Manny wins by knockout,” he said. “Why not hold a two-day Australia-Philippines event where on the first day, Gilas will play the Australian national basketball team and on the second day, Manny will fight Horn in a rematch.”

Photo: Manny Pacquiao (R) connects with a right at Lucas Matthysse during their WBA world welterweight title fight at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sunday, July 15.



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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