Manny Pacquiao has assured Bob Arum that he wants to fight on.
However, there is one major player that could be on his way out.
That’s Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who has been aligned with Pacquiao for the past 14 years.
Their first fight together was in June 2001 when Pacquiao took on IBF super bantamweight champion Lehlo Ledwaba of South Africa on two-weeks’ notice as a late substitute.
Pacquiao went on to stop Ledwaba in six rounds, and Ledwaba admitted to Eyewitness News back in April that not only was it the biggest fight of his career, but he was completely ill-prepared for it.
“At that time, I knew nothing about him. He came in as a late substitute. I went to America to fight another opponent who got injured in the gym and then he was replaced by Manny Pacquiao. I was only told of Manny’s fights four days to go before the fight. The only time I managed to see his tape was after our weigh-in,” Ledwaba recalled.
“It’s only then that I realized that Manny was a southpaw. I did not even train to face a southpaw.”
On June 23, 2001, a star was born.
25 victories and six world titles later, a candid Roach tells ESNEWS that Pacquiao is going to have to show him a lot more than he did against Floyd Mayweather Jr. if he wants him to continue to train him.
Mayweather defeated Pacquiao on May 2 by unanimous decision in what was billed as the ‘Fight of the Century.’
“Speed is a great thing to have, but sometimes when you get a little older you slow down a bit,” Roach said. “Manny has to really show me something in his next fight for me to continue with him. Even though he got injured in that fight [against Mayweather], I don’t think he fought his best fight. I’d like to see him fight a better fight than that.
“That’s why I’d like to see a rematch because I’d like to see one more time if he can do well in that fight. But for us to get a rematch, we’d have to beat someone with a name and be impressive in doing it,” he explained.
Pacquiao hasn’t beaten a solid name since avenging his 2012 defeat to Timothy Bradley a year ago to reclaim the WBO title, but even then, it only garnered 800,000 PPV buys compared to 700,000 for the first fight.
Could Pacquiao theoretically come back and beat Danny Garcia and Amir Khan, yes.
Howbeit, do we know how a post-shoulder surgery Pacquiao is going to perform?
We don’t know.
And if history has taught us anything, it might be best for the Filipino superstar, a champion of his people, to hang up the gloves.