Manny Pacquiao: If no Floyd Mayweather rematch only then should PacMan fight Crawford or Thurman, insists ESPN's SmithWritten by Joseph Herron
It's being reported that future Hall of Fame boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will be coming out of retirement to fight 27 year old Jessie Vargas for the WBO Welterweight Championship on November 5, at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On ESPN's popular morning show, "First Take", HBO analyst and boxing historian Max Kellerman aired his disapproval of the Pacman's decision to seemingly bypass the more buzz-worthy match-up with current universally recognized 140 pound champion Terence Crawford.
"The fact that Manny Pacquiao chooses to fight Jessie Vargas instead of Terence Crawford, can only say one thing at this point…which is that he's only fighting for the money, while avoiding the bigger money and the more dangerous opponent," Max stated on ESPN's 'First Take'. "It doesn't say good things about where he is at the moment."
While Kellerman seems to regurgitate the popular sentiment among most die-hard boxing fans and critics, Max's ESPN counterpart, Stephen A. Smith could be much closer to the truth behind Manny Pacquiao's decision to face Jessie Vargas in November.
"I don't think it's as bad you think," argued the Philly based commentator. "Pacquiao is waiting for Floyd Money Mayweather to come out of retirement and give him a shot, so he can fight that one last big fight and call it a day."
"If Floyd Mayweather can have his last fight against Andre Berto, Pacquiao's like, 'why can't I have a fight against Jessie Vargas?'
'Why do I need to elevate the profile of a Terence Crawford or Keith Thurman?'
'It's a more winnable fight, it keeps me alert and fresh, and in the meantime, I'm hoping that ultimately Floyd Money Mayweather will come out of retirement within the next year or so and give me a fight."
"That's what Manny Pacquiao is thinking," affirms Stephen A. Smith.
The often loud and abrasive ESPN sports analyst believes the eight division world champion would be foolish to jeopardize another massive payday opposite Floyd Jr. by facing tough, confident and undefeated champions like Thurman and Crawford.
"Anybody can get stung…anybody can get dropped…anybody can fail. That can happen to anybody off of one good shot. I don't blame him (Manny Pacquiao). He should stay the hell away from them (Crawford and Thurman)."
"The only way Pacquiao should fight Terence Crawford, or somebody like that, is if there's no chance on earth that he'll get a chance to fight Floyd Mayweather," stated the popular ESPN critic. "If that for any reason becomes a complete impossibility, then you take that risk."
"But as long as you potentially have Floyd Money Mayweather on the horizon, why risk it?"