Pacquiao is Starting to Waver on Retirement After Bradley

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By Frank Lotierzo

He's said it; his longtime promoter has said it and the fans believe it. And that is that Manny Pacquiao's upcoming welterweight bout with Timothy Bradley on April 9th will be his last. And that’s because the eight division title holder is running for a Senate seat in his native Philippines where his poll numbers are declining. Some believe Pacquiao's dip in the polls is a result of his anti-gay comments which he later retracted. 

Other pundits have inferred that due to Pacquiao's chances for a Senate seat being up in the air, he might decide to continue his stellar boxing career based on his recent statements.

“I don’t know,” Pacquiao said at a press conference. “at that time, God willing, I’ll be a senator in the Philippines and I’ll ask the people of the Philippines if they’ll allow it. My attention and focus is to serve the people. I’ll ask the people if they agree to that.”

Since making that statement it’s been repeated why Pacquiao has plenty of reasons to retire even if he doesn't become a senator, such as….”he’s taken plenty of punishment over the years, having 65 fights since he turned pro in 1995. Having won titles in eight different weight classes, there isn’t much more for him to accomplish.”

Yes, the above is true, but what was left out is the little fact that Manny Pacquiao is a fighter first above all else. Some analysts don’t grasp how deep that runs. Regardless of his words, Manny Pacquiao is a fighter down to his core and still a relatively great one who still attracts millions of spectators when he fights while being paid millions of dollars when he steps into the ring. Pacquiao may be a gracious man and truly wants to help his country, but he is a fighter first.

In his last bout Manny was beaten conclusively by Floyd Mayweather. And in reality he wasn't even Floyd's toughest fight, but it must be noted that despite losing, he didn't absorb anything close to the type of punishment where one would consider him damaged goods. It just so happened that Mayweather had the style, reach and speed to neutralize Pacquiao's sporadic southpaw aggression. Mayweather will beat Pacquiao every day of the week, but that doesn't mean Pacquiao is finished and his days of being a world class fighter are in the rear view mirror. Granted, Manny isn't the same fighter he was five years ago but he can still beat and compete with other elite welterweights vying to emerge as the marque man at 147.

If Pacquiao could write the perfect script, he'd fight Mayweather again and try to avenge losing to him 10 months ago. But he knows deep down that Floyd isn't going to step in the ring with him again and he certainly isn't going to let Mayweather dictate whether or not he continues on with his career.

In order for Pacquiao to continue fighting for millions of dollars, he must beat Bradley next month, and it would be a real shot in the arm if he did it in a convincing manner. He surely wants to erase the stench of the Mayweather setback and a sensational performance against Bradley would align him to be in position to knock off the fighter who looks to be the next Mayweather, Terence Crawford. Crawford is a beautiful boxer who can fight as the attacker and seek the knockout if he chooses to. It’s not a given yet but Crawford looks to be the genuine article. That said, Crawford is not without his detractors who mock his level of opposition after each impressive outing.

Crawford's most impressive performance to date came against Yuriorkis Gamboa, 23-0 at the time, a little over a year and a half ago. His detractors say Crawford's showing was more the case of Terence being a weight class or two bigger than Gamboa than it was a case of him being such a special fighter. In order for Crawford to escape the perception that he's fighting handpicked opposition the likes of Raymundo Beltran, Thomas Dulorme, Dierry Jean and Hank Lundy, his last four opponents, Crawford needs a big name opponent with a large following to mark his official arrival to the big time.

Adrien Broner would fit the bill ideally, but I think it's obvious Broner doesn't even want to be on the same side of the street as Crawford. Viktor Postol 28-0, who holds the WBC super-lightweight title, would be acceptable, but if Crawford takes Postol apart, it'll be said by his detractors that Postol was a paper champ who hadn't fought anyone noteworthy until fighting Crawford. And if you can believe it, there's a lot of chatter in regards to Crawford fighting Ruslan Provodnikov, 25-4, in his next bout which has Mayweather-Gatti written all over it.

As you can see, based on who's out there for Crawford to fight, Manny Pacquiao is the only one who can put him in front of a worldwide audience to showcase his skills. As for Pacquiao, aside from Crawford, he could fight Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia who are both undefeated, and they also would be PPV attractions. But not for the same money he'd earn fighting Crawford because Terence is seen as the most skilled and gifted boxer in the sport. Pacquiao would like to make the Mayweather outing a distant memory to boxing observers, and the best way he can do that is to take on the next Mayweather-esque opponent on the rise and administer him his first defeat.

I think the reality is, and it's starting to slip out, Pacquiao knows if he beats Bradley in a way in which there's no doubt as to who the better man was, he'll still be a draw and in line for a few more multi-million dollar bouts. Call it a hunch, but I believe Manny likes and needs the money and walking away from piles of it still on the table is something he can't and won't do — assuming he defeats Bradley next month, which certainly isn't a foregone conclusion.

Let me add one small caveat in closing – If Pacquiao looks sensational in beating Bradley, and then indicates he wants to fight further, his promoter Bob Arum might back off on pushing for the Crawford bout right away. If there are two PPV wins available to Manny (Garcia and Thurman) before having to deal with Crawford, Arum will promote those instead, meanwhile continuing to build Crawford up, moving the two fighters on a collision course for mid-2017.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

 

 

Comment on this article

COMMENTS

-Radam G :

Real pugs are as the late, great General Douglas McArthur said about real soldiers, "they don't die, they just fade away." And T-Craw is just a half of step better than Sadam Ali. In other words, T-Craw is another super-hyped-up long-in-da-game upcoming pug who will get a beat down by stepping up to scrap with any warm soul. Dude has looked unbeatable -- as Ali did -- because he has been fed a couple of mild-warmed zombies and a cold-as-ice dead pug walking going through the motions. Those pugs who T-Craw have tangled with would all sink and drown in pugilism's seven metaphoric oceans. As far as for T-Brad, he is going to be hard work, I must admit. Dude is off the veggie diet of black beans and kale shakes. Getting pass him will be like escaping from a pit of a thousand snakes. Now being on meat, he is going to be a hand full to beat. And dude also has the great Teddy Atlas, who is being backed up by the spirit of the late, great trainer Cus D'aMato in his corner. But that is all right. Posse Pac will have Ghostbusters keeping the ghost of Cus out of the house. And PacMommy will distract the great Teddy A with diz, dat and da third hexes. She is going to have him acting like a drunken mouse. Enough said for now. Holla!


-SouthPawFlo :

A loss to Tim B will most assuredly end his career, but with a win I see a Fall Fight with Jesse Vargas, Followed by another attempt to get Mayweather back in the Ring ultimately to end up fight Marquez again, Provo or Crawford...


-Radam G :

A loss to Tim B will most assuredly end his career, but with a win I see a Fall Fight with Jesse Vargas, Followed by another attempt to get Mayweather back in the Ring ultimately to end up fight Marquez again, Provo or Crawford...
I don't know, man. There is no angle in scrapping with J-Var. So I doubt that one. And no matter what happens against T-Brad, it will not be Da Manny's last rodeo. The last one will be in a thrilla in Maynila. J-Var is looking to get a rematch with T-Brad. Or a beat down of the aging Marquez. Holla!


-deepwater2 :

I don't know, man. There is no angle in scrapping with J-Var. So I doubt that one. And no matter what happens against T-Brad, it will not be Da Manny's last rodeo. The last one will be in a thrilla in Maynila. J-Var is looking to get a rematch with T-Brad. Or a beat down of the aging Marquez. Holla!
A thrilla in Manila involving PAC would be great. What is the biggest stadium in the Philippines?


-Radam G :

A thrilla in Manila involving PAC would be great. What is the biggest stadium in the Philippines?
The scrap will be in the Mall of Asia Arena. For boxing, it will be able to comfortably hold 25,000. But we Pinoys will stretch it -- or maybe I should say adjust it -- to about 30,000. Holla!


-deepwater2 :

The scrap will be in the Mall of Asia Arena. For boxing, it will be able to comfortably hold 25,000. But we Pinoys will stretch it -- or maybe I should say adjust it -- to about 30,000. Holla!
Will he close out his great career in front of his countrymen?


-Chris L :

I don't know, man. There is no angle in scrapping with J-Var. So I doubt that one. And no matter what happens against T-Brad, it will not be Da Manny's last rodeo. The last one will be in a thrilla in Maynila. J-Var is looking to get a rematch with T-Brad. Or a beat down of the aging Marquez. Holla!
It makes sense, if Bradley (the Cali Cranium Crusher if I recall correctly) loses to Pac on April 9 for him to fight Vargas in a rematch, now that Vargas has a decent win under his belt. Easy win for Bradley again to rebuild. Not so sure about Crawford; if Pac disposes of Bradley without too much trouble then I think he'd still have too much for Crawford. Why is no one clamoring for Crawford-Bradley?


-Radam G :

Will he close out his great career in front of his countrymen?
That is how he always talk about ending it. Holla!


-Radam G :

Wow! Now Big Floyd is talking about Lil Floyd dancing with a healthy PacMan. Watch it! Don't be surprised if MayPac II will be da haps in September. Holla!


-amayseng :

Wow! Now Big Floyd is talking about Lil Floyd dancing with a healthy PacMan. Watch it! Don't be surprised if MayPac II will be da haps in September. Holla!
The first fight was a disappointment, though money talks and if the money is there I dont blame them. Secondly they both have built in dramatic reasons for a rematch-- Floyd illegally used an iv and Pac says he was injured prior to the fight.. NO MORE EXCUSES could be the headline. sell it for 50$ this time, no one is paying 100$