Manny Pacquiao Should Know What's Best for Him and Boxing
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Mon, 23 Nov 2020
Despite the uncertainty of big time live spectator arena boxing ever making a return under a post Covid-19 pandemic new normal, Manny Pacquiao remains among the few star fighters whose next fight is eagerly awaited by fans anywhere.
This is even bolstered by encouraging news that Manny is being eyed---wooed, even--- by two of the best pound for pound listed welterweight champions in the planet, namely Terrence Crawford and Errol Spence for a unification early next year.
Manny is the current WBA welterweight super champion, winning the title from erstwhile undefeated American belt holder Keith Thurman in July 2019. He has not fought since, being forced to sit out 2020 by the pandemic lockdown on boxing.
Crawford dismantles Brook.
Crawford recently defended his WBO title by sensational 4th round stoppage of former highly regarded WBA titlist Kell Brook inside the MGM Bubble in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile Spence will be defending his unified WBC and IBF titles versus another former titlist Danny Garcia in December 5 in Dallas with expected limited live audience in attendance. Spence is favored to win over Garcia, barring any ill effect of the car crash he figured in late last year.
Boxing fans are therefore avidly waiting for Manny to fight any of the two which would either confirm his all time greatness if he wins, or result in the official passing of the torch to the winner in the event of his defeat.
This is precisely the type of fight that fans are rabidly looking forward to in 2021, to witness in an arena live if already possible or safe enough or via pay per view or internet streaming in the relative safety and comfort of their homes.
But there is fly in the ointment, so to speak.
It is the persistent news about a boxing fight pitting Manny versus MMA star Conor McGregor in a reprise of the controversial but hugely successful McGregor-Floyd Mayweather so called boxing match in 2018.
Proponents are claiming that there is a huge demand for this fight, never mind that Floyd in their so called boxing bout clearly carried Conor to the latter rounds where he took only a few really hard punches thrown with mean intention to finish the British mixed martial arts star.
The WBC incidentally sanctioned that fight as a legitimate boxing match despite the fact that Conor had never boxed before. That sanction plus his knockout victory allowed Floyd to surpass Rocky Marciano's long held 49-0 record in pro boxing. To this day, fans are questioning the legitimacy of Floyd's last ring win and his claim to a 50-0 record.
Reports said a fight against McGregor is high in Manny's agenda for 2021 despite his opt repeated vow that he would be a different fighter and champion from his archrival Floyd.
The reason is not hard to see.
Proponents of the McGregor fight are claiming Manny stands to earn more, approximating what Floyd bankrolled in the first fight with the Briton based on what they also claimed as huge demand for a Pacquiao-McGregor ring clash.
As PT Barnum said, suckers are born every minute. Boxing fans proved to be such in many of boxing's so called high in demand bouts including the Floyd-McGregor fight that even outsold the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch in 2018.
It is open secret that Manny is running for higher office in 2022. He would need a big money fight or high paying fights he could insert on his busy schedule as incumbent Senator in the next one year and few months to boost his "war chest".
Pacquiao on the campaign trail.
But it is very hard to give credence to claims and projections in the face of the pandemic driven uncertainties.
Everything seems to be a gamble now.
But if we are to believe Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum once again, there are still a few marquee fighters who could still pack the crowd in, if possible and safe enough given the present circumstances. One of them, in fact on top is Manny Pacquiao.
We are apt to again believe in him.
When top fighters as Crawford and Spence as well as still viable fighters as Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter and fast rising future stars as Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez are making a bee line in a bid for a fight with Manny, there is no room for doubt.
Proponents of the McGregor fight know that too, very well. That's why they are aggressively making a bid. Even floating the preposterous claim that McGregor did more against Floyd than Manny in an attempt to get his goat and signing him up just to prove them wrong.
Manny's global prominence was recently affirmed when he was contracted as a brand ambassador for the hugely popular Mobile Legend.
Manny therefore is both in a highly enviable and dilemma-filled position.
He has hard decisions to make in so far as his career direction as a fighter moving forward is concerned.
But Manny should know what is the best for him, his fans, especially his Filipino supporters and most importantly the sport of boxing when he finally decides on his future actions.
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at email@example.com and by phone 09215309477.
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