Manny Pacquiao: Has the boxing world forgotten about the PacMan?Written by Joseph Herron
After this past weekend's stellar performance from newly crowned IBF Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., most fight fans and boxing critics are buzzing about "The Truth" from Texas and his future in the packed 147 pound weight division.
Most seem to believe that the 27 year old is headed for a unification bout with fellow title older and unified champion Keith "One Time" Thurman to potentially take place during the first quarter of 2018.
Although it's understandable as to why most are looking toward the young guns to carry the current glamour division of boxing, have critics forgotten about the current WBO champion, Manny Pacquiao, and his relevance among the Welterweights?
According to Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, the Pacman still has what it takes to defeat anyone in and around 147 pounds.
"I know Manny has knock-out power and I still feel it every time I catch his punches," stated the seven-time trainer of the year to the Manila Times. "If you want to feel it, I will give you my mitts. It's very hard."
Manny recently engaged in an eight round sparring session with 24 year old Adrian Young (23-3-2, 18 KOs) of Mexico, and dazzled everyone in attendance...including his "Young" sparring partner.
"Pacquiao is very strong and very fast," stated Adrian Young to the Manila Times. "I felt his power today. His left hook hurt me. I fought a lot of competitive boxers, but Manny is faster, wiser, and stronger, and I think he's going to improve even more within the coming days."
Because the Philippines Senator has now become firmly established as a civil servant in his native country, has the boxing community forgotten about the 38 year old ring legend, and his stature among the Welterweight landscape?
Roach is hoping his man can send a stark reminder of his dominance and ability to the rest of the division on July 1, as he defends his WBO title against undefeated, number one contender Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia.
"To have a big fight, you have to have great performances," the knowledgeable trainer recently told The Inquirer. "I told Manny, 'If you want Mayweather, you really need to look good in this fight.' I told him we need to knock this guy out. He knows what's in front of him, and I think the better he does in this fight, the bigger fight he'll get next."
"He has the speed and the power, so I'm looking for a knock-out. I believe Manny needs to really look good in this fight."
But even if the sport's only eight division world champion were to give the boxing world a brilliant knock-out performance in July, would his promoter, Bob Arum and Top Rank, Inc., be willing to work with Al Haymon to create unified efforts within the competitive weight class?
With only an assumed two or three fights left for the Pacman, would the 85 year old promoter be willing to create match-ups with fighters outside of his own promotional stable?
If the money is available and there is a genuine interest among the real bosses of boxing, the paying customers, of course Bob would be open to any match-up.
Earlier this year, Arum and company were open to making a superfight at 147 pounds with Amir Khan, who is currently advised by Al Haymon, to potentially take place in the UAE. But after the proposed funding of $38 million fell through, so did the suggested event.
Hence the creation of Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn on July 1, in Brisbane, Australia, which should draw over 50K sports fans to the Suncorp Stadium.
In the immortal words of Floyd Money Mayweather: "If a match-up makes dollars, it makes 'sense'."
Look for Manny and company to make the best financial decision for Manny Pacquiao. If a unification bout with either Keith Thurman or Errol Spence Jr. makes the most monetary sense for Team Pacquiao, it will be made. Public demand creates financial gain.
So it's ultimately up to the real bosses of boxing to create the demand. That's the way the sport has always been run. By the fans and for the fans.