In the perfect world, Manny Pacquiao wanted another shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr. before retiring to a life of politics in his home country.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather bout last May was the most lucrative in the history of professional boxing, drawing a record 4.4 million PPV buys. Unfortunately for Pacquiao and his legion of fans, Mayweather Jr. has already hung up his gloves, compelling promoter Bob Arum and HBO to book the Filipino icon’s last bout against old rival Timothy Bradley.
Pacquiao (2014) and Bradley (2012) share a victory apiece. Therefore, on paper, it is the perfect storyline to settle the scores for either fighter. So why is the boxing community unhappy? (Watch Above: The Pacquiao-Bradley bout in 2012 that began the controversial saga).
For starters, most boxing pundits reckon that Pacquiao won both bouts handily. Why would fans want to spend money on a fight they’ve witnessed twice? Where is the eagerness? Back in October, the likes of Terence Crawford, Adrien Broner and Amir Khan were shortlisted as possible opponents for Pacquiao’s final bout. Wouldn’t a bout against a fresh opponent arouse more excitement?
Why not Terence Crawford?
Crawford, the young 140 lb. champion who appears to possess the technical ability to take over as boxing’s top attraction, was being penciled in as the most likely opponent. A Pacquiao-Crawford bout would set the stage for the perfect passing-of-the-torch moment. Why did Pacquiao turn down the opportunity to excite fans and help usher in the next generation?
Some reckon that Manny Pacquiao is playing it safe. Perhaps the legendary fighter wants to avoid the risks of further injuries. There could have been a more lucrative and competitive fight to end his career with. Bradley, 32, is a great boxer, but he isn’t a box-office attraction; he’s not a household name.
Pacquia, with a 57-6-2, 38 KO record, will be 37 when he fights in April, following an 11-month rehabilitation period after a surgery on his right shoulder. Pac-Man, though, acknowledged that the injury affected his performance during that fight on April, allowing Mayweather to win in a unanimous vote.
It appears like boxing fans will witness the greatest of this generation sign off on a low note.