When Manny Pacquiao fought what was supposed to be the final fight of his career this past April in his rubber-match against Tim Bradley, I thought that he had exited the sport in a perfect manner. He had managed to turn back the clock against a younger opponent and look as best as he had in years; he dropped Bradley twice in the fight; he made Jim Lampley cry afterwards.
So you can imagine how disappointed I was when talks of Manny Pacquiao coming back to the ring started making their way onto news sites and boxing discussion forums.
No, this had to be just a rumor. It couldn’t possibly be true. Manny more or less said he was done after the fight with Bradley. Also, he’s a senator now and he should REALLY be focusing on that. Plus wouldn’t it be nice to let a new generation of superstars be born now that Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, the two biggest stars of their generation, both had their farewell fights?
Well it would be nice but Bob Arum and all the powers that be know that there’s money that can be made when Manny Pacquiao fights. Pacquiao has released a statement saying that he’s committed to his duties in the senate at this time and won’t make a comment on whether he truly is returning or not.
“Boxing is my only means of livelihood to support my family and to help those who are in need. Politics, to me, is a vocation, not a means to eke out a living. I want to maintain that belief. I want to keep my dignity intact while in public service.”
If that’s the case it certainly hasn’t stopped Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum from already apparently having dates lined up for later in the year for a potential fight. The only question is if Pacquiao IS going to make a comeback, who is it going to be against?
There’s been a lot of talk about Adrien Broner being the opponent but Arum has gone on record saying that the controversial fighter priced himself out, apparently wanting more than Pacquiao, while Broner has insisted that Arum has been low-balling him. Personally, Broner, while it certainly would be an interesting fight, I don’t think would have much of a chance against Pac-Man. Plus with Broner now having to serve 30 days in jail for contempt, it seems even more unlikely.
Chances are that the next possible opponent will be decided this Saturday night between undefeated champions Viktor Postol and Terence Crawford. Having a hard time making a pick for a winner but conventional wisdom seems to be leaning towards Crawford.
A fight with Danny Garcia? That is possible as well. Garcia holds the WBC welterweight title, is undefeated as well and lots of people would be more than eager to see Manny hand Danny his first loss. Plus imagine the build up between Freddie Roach and Angel Garcia.
However, until Pacquiao actually comes out and says, “Yes, I’m making a comeback. There’s some time in my senate schedule so I’m going to do it”, this is all speculation. Still, don’t be too surprised if Max Kellerman brings up Pacquiao’s name to whoever wins between Postol and Crawford this Saturday.