Keep It In The Ring: Manny Pacquiao Will Fight Again

Rich Mancuso-100x100Bet on this: Manny Pacquiao fights again


By Rich Mancuso, Sports Editor


“It’s hard to say because I am not there yet.” Those were the words from Manny Pacquiao Saturday night in Las Vegas when asked if that was his last fight after his unanimous decision win over Timothy Bradley. And you can bet on it that Pacquiao has more than one fight left in him.


Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley. Photo credit: HBO Boxing

Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley. Photo credit: HBO Boxing

The question is, who will be the next opponent when Pacquiao takes some time off to be with family and concentrate on his political career in the Philippines? Not jumping to conclusions here but how many times have we heard from a elite champion these words:


“This is my last fight, I am going home to be with my family and get some rest, but this is it.”  Pacquiao almost said those words, and then he didn’t. The question again is what plan does the eight-division champion have and what has he informed Top Rank promoter Bob Arum?


In boxing that is always the perplexing question as to who or who not to believe. And for all of these years we have always come to believe the words of Manny Pacquiao, with exception at times with the on and off talks of that Floyd Mayweather fight that was a disaster but took both fighters to the bank.


So, if this was the last fight for Manny Pacquiao the call to the Hall of Fame is not in question. The legacy will be remembered and in discussion as one of the all time greats of the sport. But that discussion will continue once it is definite that Manny Pacquiao has put on the gloves for the last time.


And in all probability, Manny Pacquiao has more than one fight left in him. It won’t be because of money as Pacquiao has financial security and awaits his faith as a Senator representing his people in the Philippines. Pacquiao, 37 years of age,did not resemble a washed up fighter and rebounded with a resounding victory over Bradley.


There were no signs of ring rust from an 11-month hiatus  after the loss to Mayweather. The left was sharp, his right was effective, and the right shoulder that was torn and required surgery also rebounded. Pacquiao was healthy and resembled a champion that has made boxing history and if that shoulder had cooperated, perhaps there would have been a different outcome with the Mayweather fight.


But that debate is for another day.  Right now Manny Pacquiao will contemplate his next move and the boxing world will await the decision as to who and when will be his next fight.  The possibilities, again just speculation, are Canelo Alvarez or?  Yeah, a return bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr..


Sources are not counting out that  return of what would not be a mega fight. If that should happen, another Pacquiao-Mayweather confrontation, don’t expect the fighters to once again go to the bank. The first fight was a fiasco and duplicating the hype would only center around the arch enemies coming out of a so called retirement.


Because like Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao does not need the money. It is all about the ego and being in the spotlight and every fighter who steps away will always say how much they miss putting on the gloves and being a part of that spotlight.


Consider that Pacquiao did not resemble a damaged fighter. Business was done in the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday night in the trilogy with Bradley. Pacquiao lost the first fight in a controversial decision that he appeared to have won. In the second one two years ago, Pacquiao won a commanding and unanimous decision.


So there was momentum that was never gone after the Mayweather loss. There was only a question as to how effective and good would Manny Pacquiao look in the first fight back after the Mayweather loss.


“I loved the way Manny threw the punches,” Freddie Roach said. The Hall of Fame trainer does not want to see his fighter hang up the gloves, not after what he saw during an intense training camp and for the 12-rounds against Bradley, and that left and right in the seventh round that put Bradley down was perfection.


Added Roach, “He may be a little rusty, but if he wants to continue fighting, I think he can still go.”


Arum during the promotion for this third fight with Bradley repeatedly said, “This is Manny’s last fight,” but that theme was not emphasized. The eventual outcome would say that the most lucrative fighter Arum has under his wing will continue to make more money and continue.


If that is against Alvarez, a possibility with Golden Boy and Oscar De La Hoya that could be intriguing.  Forget about Danny Garcia, who is promoted by an Arum rival and the PBC personnel that have been sued by Arum and De La Hoya for monopolizing the sport.


“I only count the money,” Arum said Saturday night. He does not make the fights or decisions for Manny Pacquiao.  Mayweather exited the MGM with his hands up and that was a probable indication that another fight will be made with Pacquiao.


So bet on it, and let the time pass. Manny Pacquiao still has time on his side and some rest and a political election will determine his next move.  And that move, which would be good for boxing is seeing him in the ring one or two more times.

Comment: Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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