A return to the division south of welterweight could await Manny Pacquiao if trainer Freddie Roach has much sway in the Filipino legend’s next move as the Wildcard Boxing Club owner believes the 35-year-old will only recapture his knockout power if he campaigns within the confines of light welterweight (140-pounds) or lightweight (135-pounds). Promoter Bob Arum may not be so keen as the ‘money’ fights are at 147-pounds, but here’s five candidates who could bring bucks at light welter and below…
If there is one fight that makes most sense for Manny Pacquiao, 35, after his convincing Saturday night triumph over erstwhile WBO welterweight ruler Timothy Bradley, it is not a long overdue super fight with Floyd Mayweather Jnr – who could be aligned with the winner of a July 12 punch-up between Erislandy Lara and Saul Alvarez, or a fighter recently signed to Al Hayman; Amir Khan – but a previous opponent, one who makes sense with the organisation (WBO) and cents for the promoter (Bob Arum).
One of the biggest upsets in 2012 was the enforced surrendering of Manny Pacquiao’s welterweight title to Timothy Bradley by split decision – the judging of the fight has been a subject of controversy and so now the Filipino, 35, has a shot at redemption, to right the initial wrong, while the American battles for respect and to gain a legitimate victory. The #PacBradley rematch took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 12.
WBO welterweight world title challenger Manny Pacquiao comfortably weighed in under the contracted 147-pound limit earlier today, Friday, at 145lbs, while defending titlist Timothy Bradley came in at 145.5lbs. The two elite boxers trade shots at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday evening, yet, judging from the photographs below, Bradley could not be more ripped if he tried while Pacquiao does not look as good as he has in previous outings. Will it matter on fight night, we’ll have to wait to find out!
A pugilistic lock to be immortalised at Canastota when the Hall-of-Fame comes calling, Mexican veteran Juan Manuel Marquez, 40, has fought both Timothy Bradley (lost on points) and Manny Pacquiao four times (1-1-2, 1ko) and understands the strengths and weaknesses of both men. Here, he breaks down the keys to victory…
London’s boxing experts are almost unanimous in their predictions. When multi-division titlist Manny Pacquiao, 35, challenges undefeated American Timothy Bradley, 30, for the WBO welterweight championship incumbency on Saturday, April 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena there will be one clear winner…
WBO welterweight world title challenger Manny Pacquiao has not scored a knockout victory in five years but has been implored by trainer Freddie Roach to do so when he takes on Timothy Bradley on Saturday, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The Filipino phenom, though, insists he will not rush the job and that he will put into practice a lesson learned from his shock knockout loss to career nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
Multi-division world titlist Manny Pacquiao, 35, can add another glorious chapter to his book of elite-level pugilistic life on April 12 as the Filipino phenom has the chance to reclaim the WBO welterweight belt when he rematches Timothy Bradley, who edged – or was gifted, depending on your viewpoint – a decision win two years ago. PacMan arrives at the scene of their fight – the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – on Tuesday, but is he ready?
Oh boy, things have heated up. Put a microphone in front of Manny Pacquiao and he cannot and will not trash-talk – it’s to his credit. Like Wladimir Klitschko, Pacquiao is an ambassador in a sport that is increasingly flawed and pushes away fans due to fights not being made, inept refereeing, worse scoring and so forth. But the Filipino’s April 12, Las Vegas opponent, Timothy Bradley has become the mouth-piece for this welterweight title showdown.
The boxing calendar is really beginning to liven up as, two months after Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley exchange blows in Las Vegas, Miguel Cotto challenges Sergio Martinez for the WBC and lineal middleweight championship in New York City. Freddie Roach trains both Pacquiao and Cotto and confirmed on Thursday that they will work together and may well end up sparring a couple rounds at least, just to stay sharp.
On June 7 inside the hallowed Madison Square Garden Cotto will attempt to write Puerto Rican pugilistic history as he wants to become the first Boricua boxer to win world titles in four separate weight classes. Versus Martinez, though, a naturally bigger man, this may well be his toughest challenge yet.
Cotto was only a junior middleweight campaigner for four years. Previously, he fought as a welterweight between 2006 and 09 and prior to that, as a light welterweight. Awkward Argentine veteran Martinez, meanwhile, has been an accomplished middleweight for five years and, during that time, has overseen multiple elite-level opponents such as Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr.
The Cotto camp have obtained a psychological and, perhaps, physical advantage, albeit slight, as the catchweight will be set at 159-pounds, rather than the middleweight limit of 160, said Roach, who went on to explain to the Boxing Channel that the muscle-building process will be gradual and that even though he long tagged Cotto as a natural welterweight, even at the start of their relationship as teacher and student, he is unfazed about the prospect of clashing with Maravila.
After all, Martinez himself is regarded as small for his division and it was not in the distant past when both fighter and promoter, Lou DiBella, were both lobbying for fights with Floyd Mayweather Jnr or Manny Pacquiao, even confessing they would take the fight as low as 150-pounds.
“We’re 100 percent ready for this fight,” said Roach, recently. “The first two weeks of training camp will overlap with Manny Pacquiao and they will work together, they are good friends and there is no problem whatsoever.”
Pacquiao will be at the tail-end of his training camp, while Cotto will only be at the start of his. There will be an obvious gulf in terms of fitness and sharpness, however, the opportunity to test themselves against the other may be impossible to resist, Roach later explained. The timing of such a spar, even if it were only to last two or three rounds, would have to be carefully deliberated over as sparring usually tapers off when fight night is ten days out.
“I’ve been thinking about them sparring. It might be too close to Manny’s fight and not the right style for Manny’s fight. But I believe good work makes you sharp no matter who you’re fighting.”
On the logistics of balancing work with two elite level prizefighters at the same time, Roach said: “We’ll do one week in Los Angeles, then one week in Las Vegas as Manny will enter fight week, then after the fight we’ll [Roach and Cotto] have seven weeks in LA.”
Roach already has intimate knowledge of Martinez, having groomed Chavez Jnr for battle with Sergio in 2012. While Martinez dominated the vast majority of the bout, Julio Cesar gave the southpaw much to think about at the fight’s climax as Martinez was twice knocked down, yet only the first was officially scored by the referee.
“I’ll be getting ready for Martinez for the second time in my life, which is great because he’s a great guy, with top speed.”
Comparisons between Martinez and Pacquiao are few, Roach was keen to stress: “They have speed and both have a southpaw stance but they fight completely differently. Manny is a solid fighter whereas Martinez is primarily a soccer player and a secondary fighter, he’s a great athlete, but he’s not a great fighter.”
Should Roach and Cotto score victory in the summer then a wealth of options open up for them both as there is a possible rematch with Mayweather Jnr, this time at middleweight, while a bout against Saul Alvarez – another installment in the hot Puerto Rico versus Mexico rivalry – may be tough to turn down.
“If we win this fight with Cotto then the Mayweather rematch is a distinct possibility, but then there’s also Canelo Alvarez,” concluded Roach.