Most boxing fans would and should agree that Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is a first ballot Hall of Famer, a worldwide fan favorite, and arguably one of the greatest of all time candidates in many fans’ eyes. He is the sole eight division world champion in the history of boxing. The Boxing Writers Association of America named Pacquiao the boxer of the decade for the 2000’s. He was a multiple Fighter of the Year winner for the years of 2006, 2008, and 2009, beating out Floyd Mayweather for most of the awards previously noted.
In recent past, Manny has had struggles in fights that he was expected to do well in, causing the boxing public to question his future in boxing, something Manny has yet to deal with since he’s been at the forefront of the boxing public’s view. In 2012, he lost a highly debated but close split decision bout to current WBO champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, which he would later avenge in a return bout which took place on April 4, 2014.
Also in 2012, he probably took his most devastating loss to date when he was knocked unconscious seconds before the sixth round bell sounded against fellow all time great and long time foe Juan Manuel Marquez. Most recently, Manny was Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s dance partner in the most lucrative fight of all time, not to mention the most anticipated fight to take place in the last 30 years. Before the fight took place, Manny was expected to bring the typical high energy “Manny Pacquiao style” to the table, which had made him a household name.
To the disappointment of many, Pacquiao wasn’t able to do so, being outclassed by Mayweather in a 12 round unanimous decision for Mayweather, shocking the boxing public who expected Manny to give a more spirited and effective account of himself. Following the Mayweather loss, those close to Pacquiao have addressed the status of his future.
Pacquiao recently made his debut on Periscope and stated that his final fight will take place on April 9, 2016, and went on to state that he and his most recent opponent, Floyd Mayweather Jr., were in negotiations to meet again in the future, but this was shot down by Floyd’s camp.
But Manny doesn’t lack options. He’s currently ranked by ThaBoxingVoice as the number one welterweight in the world. He’s ranked above younger, highly ranked prospects and champions like the seemingly rejuvenated Timothy Bradley, highly touted up and comers, Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, Amir Khan, and Shawn Porter, at the welterweight class.
Manny also has options at his former weight class of light welterweight with Terrance Crawford, Viktor Postol and Postol’s recent victim Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse. He’s been rumored to be in talks with Crawford and Khan and recently Timothy Bradley has been thrust back into the running because of his showing against Brandon Rios.
Bob Arum has recently confirmed the Crawford and Khan news during an interview with ESPN’s Dan Rafael, saying they are the top two candidates for the next Pacquiao fight
Recently, Freddie roach was interviewed by Fighthype and was asked about comments made by Manny Pacquiao where he stated that April 9, 2016 would be his final fight. While Roach left the door open for any decision, he also made it clear that any choice by Pacquiao would have his support, going to say that “I will always be known as Manny’s trainer”. It could be argued that Roach sees the writing on the wall and is preparing for life after Manny Pacquiao.
The difference between boxing and other sports is that boxing fans aren’t able to see the legends of the sport enjoying life beyond being in the ring. Many times fighters are forced into careers which go far beyond the fighter’s talent and ability.
The bigger issue is the safety of boxers.