Connect with us

Canada and USA

Jersey Joe’s Hooking of Ezzard Charles No. 1 on my List of All-Time Kayos

Anyone who’s into sports is also into making lists, and boxing fans are no different. We all tend to update our all-time and current pound-for-pound top 10s

Bernard Fernandez

Published

on

Anyone who’s into sports is also into making lists, and boxing fans are no different. We all tend to update our all-time and current pound-for-pound top 10s, as well as those for our most memorable fights witnessed in person, on television or via vintage film footage. For purposes of this story, the subject is one-punch knockouts, boxing’s equivalent of the walk-off home run, the answered Hail Mary, the desperation three-pointer with the shooter’s team down two a tick before the buzzer sounds.

Not every such devastating shot, of course, is delivered in the last round by the guy trailing on points. Sometimes it comes earlier, and with the instant winner already ahead on the scorecards. There is a natural tendency to give greater credence to put-away punches in fights involving historically significant fighters, and especially if they come in historically significant bouts. But each of us prioritizes our memories of sudden, dramatic, finishes with no particular sense of rhyme or reason. And with the looming 67th anniversary of my personal favorite, Jersey Joe Walcott’s picture-perfect left hook that turned out the lights on heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles, it seems a good time to fondly recall the, yes, historically significant blow that ended nearly 21 years of frustration for someone who could finally say he was the, uh, Cream of the crop.

The following list excludes, for the most part, knockouts registered as the result of combination-punching (so no Joe Louis over Max Schmeling in their celebrated rematch, or Ray Mercer over Tommy Morrison), as well as kayos where the groundwork was mostly laid by accumulated damage.

No. 1, Jersey Joe Walcott KO7 Ezzard Charles, July 18, 1951, Pittsburgh

Walcott, whose birth name was Arnold Cream, for professional purposes assumed the slightly revised moniker of Joe “The Barbados Demon” Walcott, a welterweight champion whose career ended in 1911. The original Walcott was a hero to young Arnold’s father, Joseph Cream, who had migrated to New Jersey from the British Virgin Islands.

By whatever identity he chose to fight under, Jersey Joe was among the best of his era. But making it to the very top of the heavyweight mountain proved to be a frequently fruitless task. He was already 0-4 in world title bouts, having twice lost to Joe Louis and twice to Charles. Despite having come up short in those fights, Walcott remained a leading light in the division, and so it was that he got a fifth shot at his sport’s ultimate prize, in Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, a rematch with Charles, who had scored a wide 15-round unanimous decision only four months earlier in Detroit.

This time, however, Jersey Joe was sharper and better than he had been in his most recent go at the pugilistic pride of Cincinnati. In scoring by rounds, Walcott led on the cards, 5-1, 4-1-1 and 3-3 entering the seventh round when he made history by becoming the oldest heavyweight champion to that point, at 37. Moving forward while rocking side to side, the 9-1 underdog dipped to his left and exploded upward with a thunderous hook that caught Charles flush on the jaw. The semi-conscious champion pitched forward onto his face.

“Was that the highlight of my grandfather’s career? Absolutely,” Jersey Joe’s grandson, Vincent Cream, 58, told me. “He always believed his time would come, and it did.”

Walcott retained the title once, on points over fellow Hall of Famer Charles, against whom he was 2-2, and he remained the oldest man to win a heavyweight title for 43 years, until 45-year-old George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer on Nov. 5, 1994. He also holds a couple of records that probably will stand forever, having fought eight  times for the heavyweight championship (going 2-6), five of those bouts incredibly coming in succession, the last two being losses to Rocky Marciano, at which point Jersey Joe retired with a 51-18-2 record that included 32 wins inside the distance. He was a charter inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

His career as an active boxer over, Jersey Joe – who was 80 when he passed away on Feb. 25, 1994 — remained in the game as a referee and, later, as the chairman of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, a position he held from 1975 to ’84. Some choose to remember him more for his role as the referee for the controversial Muhammad Ali-Sonny Liston rematch, on May 25, 1965, in Lewiston, Maine, in which Walcott was distracted by The Ring publisher Nat Fleischer’s shouting from ringside after Liston was floored in the first round. Walcott lost track of the count, an embarrassing gaffe, and he never again worked as a referee.

But for me and more than a few others, the most compelling memory of Jersey Joe Walcott is as the author of what arguably is the most beautiful single punch of all time. I was not quite four years old when that shot turned the lights out on Ezzard Charles, but it is part of my video collection and I have watched it often, a constant reminder of the suddenness in which any fight can end.

Walcott also stands as a prime example of the fact that those who benefit from a magnificent wallop also can be on the wrong end of one. To wit …

No. 2, Rocky Marciano KO13 Jersey Joe Walcott, Sept. 23, 1952, Philadelphia

 The legend of Rocky Marciano is rooted in the fact the squatty power puncher went 49-0, remaining undefeated despite having been taken to the brink several times. Never was The Rock in a more perilous position than the night he challenged heavyweight champion Jersey Joe Walcott in Municipal Stadium, before a raucous crowd of 40,000-plus. Entering the 13th round, he trailed on all three official scorecards, in rounds by margins of 8-4, 7-4-1 and 7-5. Marciano needed to come up with something big, and quickly.

He did just that. Backing Walcott into a corner, Marciano unleashed his not-so-secret weapon, a short, pulverizing right hand he called the “Susie Q.” It landed with such concussive force that, for all intents and purposes, Walcott was already dethroned, the grazing left that Marciano threw on his way to a neutral corner for ornamental purposes only. Jersey Joe – who subsequently lost to Marciano on a first-round KO – was momentarily in a kneeling position before pitching forward onto his face, where he was counted out by referee Charlie Daggert.

No. 3, Thomas Hearns KO2 Roberto Duran, June 15, 1984, Las Vegas

They called him “The Hitman” for a reason, and Hearns demonstrated why when he defended his WBC super welterweight title by landing what most agree was the most crushing punch of his career, an overhand right that immediately turned the lights out on fellow legend Duran, who was never an easy guy to take out with one shot, or even many.

No. 4, Marvin Hagler TKO3 Thomas Hearns, April 15, 1985, Las Vegas

Boxrec.com lists this as a stoppage, not a knockout, but come on, that’s only because referee Richard Steele didn’t bother with initiating a count. Somebody was going to get knocked out once these guys began trading haymakers from the opening bell, and the pressure might have been more on the Marvelous one, who was fighting with a bad cut that might have led to an actual stoppage had he not gotten Hearns out of there before the ring doctor could intervene. Hearns was already hurt when Hagler, the middleweight champion, unleashed the right hook that sent the challenger crashing to the canvas as if he had been hit by speeding bus.

No. 5, Sugar Ray Robinson KO5 Gene Fullmer, May 1, 1957, Chicago

Robinson had lost his middleweight title to Fullmer on a 15-round unanimous decision four months earlier in New York, but he reclaimed it in another stylistically intriguing clash of an aging artist (Robinson) vs. a younger, rough-around-the edges bull (Fullmer). The bull had the edge in their four-bout series, going 2-1-1, but on this night the Sugar man came out on top with a short and sweet left hook that floored and so discombobulated the about-to-become champion that Fullmer, after being counted out, claimed not to even remember what had happened.

No. 6, Joe Frazier KO2 Bob Foster, Nov. 18, 1970, Detroit

There does seem to be a lot of left hooks featured on this list, doesn’t there? Few threw the punch with more authority than Smokin’ Joe, who retained his NYSAC and WBA heavyweight titles, in addition to claiming the vacant WBC belt, by separating light heavyweight ruler Foster from his senses with a particularly devastating edition of his signature punch.

No. 7, Evander Holyfield KO3 Buster Douglas, Oct. 25, 1990, Las Vegas

Holyfield was not really known as a one-punch-and-get-you-out-of-there kind of fighter, but he and astute trainer George Benton had determined that Douglas, coming off his shocking upset of Mike Tyson in Tokyo, would be vulnerable to an overhand right were he to make the mistake of throwing an uppercut from distance. Buster attempted the long uppercut, Holyfield rocked slightly backward before coming forward with an overhand right that found the mark. Just like that there was a new undisputed heavyweight champion.

No. 8, Mike Tyson KO1 Michael Spinks, June 27, 1988, Atlantic City

For aesthetic purposes, there are other knockouts, even those unleashed by Tyson, that I might place higher than this one. But the atmosphere in Boardwalk Hall that night was incredibly electric, and the short right hand that put the “Spinks Jinx” down for the second time, and out, marked perhaps the last time that we saw Iron Mike at his most fearsome best.

No. 9, Razor Ruddock KO4 Michael Dokes, April 4, 1990, New York

I’m fudging a bit with this one since, technically, it might not qualify as a one-punch knockout. Ruddock had a hybrid left hook-uppercut he called “The Smash,” and it was all that. He bludgeoned Dokes, whose back was to the ropes, with one of them. Unconscious but seemingly frozen on his feet, a defenseless Dokes’ hands were down at his sides as Ruddock missed with a right hand before connecting  with two more “Smashes.” When Dokes toppled without even trying to break his fall, more than a few spectators probably thought he was dead. Fortunately, he wasn’t.

No. 10 (tie), Tim Witherspoon KO1 Anders Eklund, Oct 19, 1989, Atlantic City

Marciano had the “Susie Q,” Ruddock had “The Smash” and Witherspoon, who twice held alphabet heavyweight titles, had the “Can Opener,” an overhand right that came in over the top, like a hook shot in basketball. The 6-6½ Eklund, from Sweden, was the can that got opened this night. He was out before he hit the deck.

No. 10 (tie), Derrick Jefferson KO6 Maurice Harris, Nov. 6, 1999, Atlantic City

Was that an unidentified flying object, or Harris’ mouthpiece? It seemed a legitimate question after the smaller man (Harris weighed in 211 pounds to the 6-6 Jefferson’s 246) got nailed with a left hook that sent the supposedly protective piece of equipment sailing backward as if jet-propelled.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Argentina

The BWAA Shames Veteran Referee Laurence Cole and Two Nebraska Judges

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

In an unprecedented development, the Boxing Writers Association of America has started a “watch list” to lift the curtain on ring officials who have “screwed up.” Veteran Texas referee Laurence Cole and Nebraska judges Mike Contreras and Jeff Sinnett have the unwelcome distinction of being the first “honorees.”

“Boxing is a sport where judges and referees are rarely held accountable for poor performances that unfairly change the course of a fighter’s career and, in some instances, endanger lives,” says the BWAA in a preamble to the new feature. Hence the watch list, which is designed to “call attention to ‘egregious’ errors in scoring by judges and unacceptable conduct by referees.”

Contreras and Sinnett, residents of Omaha, were singled out for their scorecards in the match between lightweights Thomas Mattice and Zhora Hamazaryan, an eight round contest staged at the WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa on July 20. They both scored the fight 76-75 for Mattice, enabling the Ohio fighter to keep his undefeated record intact via a split decision.

Although Mattice vs. Hamazaryan was a supporting bout, it aired live on ShoBox. Analyst Steve Farhood, who was been with ShoBox since the inception of the series in 2001, called it one of the worst decisions he had ever seen. Lead announcer Barry Tompkins went further, calling it the worst decision he has seen in his 40 years of covering the sport.

Laurence Cole (pictured alongside his father) was singled out for his behavior as the third man in the ring for the fight between Regis Prograis and Juan Jose Velasco at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans on July 14. The bout was televised live on ESPN.

In his rationale for calling out Cole, BWAA prexy Joseph Santoliquito leaned heavily on Thomas Hauser’s critique of Cole’s performance in The Sweet Science. “Velasco fought courageously and as well as he could,” noted Hauser. “But at the end of round seven he was a thoroughly beaten fighter.”

His chief second bullied him into coming out for another round. Forty-five seconds into round eight, after being knocked down for a third time, Velasco spit out his mouthpiece and indicated to Cole that he was finished. But Cole insisted that the match continue and then, after another knockdown that he ruled a slip, let it continue for another 35 seconds before Velasco’s corner mercifully threw in the towel.

Controversy has dogged Laurence Cole for well over a decade.

Cole was the third man in the ring for the Nov. 25, 2006 bout in Hildalgo, Texas, between Juan Manuel Marquez and Jimrex Jaca. In the fifth round, Marquez sustained a cut on his forehead from an accidental head butt. In round eight, another accidental head butt widened and deepened the gash. As Marquez was being examined by the ring doctor, Cole informed Marquez that he was ahead on the scorecards, volunteering this information while holding his hand over his HBO wireless mike. The inference was that Marquez was free to quit right then without tarnishing his record. (Marquez elected to continue and stopped Jaca in the next round.)

This was improper. For this indiscretion, Cole was prohibited from working a significant fight in Texas for the next six months.

More recently, Cole worked the 2014 fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Orlando Salido at the San Antonio Alamodome. During the fight, Salido made a mockery of the Queensberry rules for which he received no point deductions and only one warning. Cole’s performance, said Matt McGrain, was “astonishingly bad,” an opinion echoed by many other boxing writers. And one could site numerous other incidents where Cole’s performance came under scrutiny.

Laurence Cole is the son of Richard “Dickie” Cole. The elder Cole, now 87 years old, served 21 years as head of the Texas Department of Combat Sports Regulation before stepping down on April 30, 2014. At various times during his tenure, Dickie Cole held high executive posts with the World Boxing Council and North American Boxing Federation. He was the first and only inductee into the inaugural class of the Texas Boxing Hall of Fame, an organization founded by El Paso promoter Lester Bedford in 2015.

From an administrative standpoint, boxing in Texas during the reign of Dickie Cole was frequently described in terms befitting a banana republic. Whenever there was a big fight in the Lone Star State, his son was the favorite to draw the coveted refereeing assignment.

Boxing is a sideline for Laurence Cole who runs an independent insurance agency in Dallas. By law in Texas (and in most other states), a boxing promoter must purchase insurance to cover medical costs in the event that one or more of the fighters on his show is seriously injured. Cole’s agency is purportedly in the top two nationally in writing these policies. Make of that what you will.

Complaints of ineptitude, says the WBAA, will be evaluated by a “rotating committee of select BWAA members and respected boxing experts.” In subsequent years, says the press release, the watch list will be published quarterly in the months of April, August, and December (must be the new math).

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

 

Continue Reading

Canada and USA

The Avila Perspective, Chapter 8: Competing Cards in N.Y. and L.A.

David A. Avila

Published

on

Rival boxing shows compete this Saturday as light heavyweight world titlists are featured in New Jersey while former world champion welterweights and middleweights tangle in New York.

A mere 150 miles separate the two fight cards staged in Uniondale, N.Y. and Atlantic City.

But there’s no mercy inside the boxing ring and certainly no mercy between boxing promotions. While Main Events stages WBO light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev and WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol in separate bouts, DiBella Entertainment stacks former champs Andre Berto against Devon Alexander in a welterweight clash.

Take your pick.

Russia’s Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) has lost some luster and hopes to reboot his popularity with a win against Canada’s Eleider Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs). But he will be directly competing against WBA champ Bivol (13-0, 11 KOs), also of Russia, who defends against Isaac Chilemba (25-5-2) of South Africa.

HBO will televise both light heavyweight title fights.

Bivol, 27, has slowly, almost glacier-like slow, picked up fans along the way by training in Southern California. The quiet unassuming fighter with a conservative style and cobra-like quickness appeals to the fans.

“I do not think that now I am the best light heavyweight, but I am now one of the best. One of four guys,” said Bivol during a press conference call. “But I hope in not the far future, we will know who is the best.”

That, of course, would mean a date with Kovalev should both fighters win on Saturday. Nothing is certain.

Kovalev, now 35, has lost some of that fear factor aura since losing back-to-back fights to now retired Andre Ward. Though he’s cracked two opponents in succession by knockout, many are pointing to the potential showdown with Bivol as the moment of truth.

“Most likely this fight is gonna happen since both Sergey and I are HBO boxers and as long as that’s what the people want, most likely the fight will happen,” said Bivol. “Me and Sergey will make sure to give this fight to the people.”

It’s time for the build-up and it starts on Saturday Aug. 4, on HBO.

“That’s certainly a goal of Sergey’s and he’s made it very clear to me that that’s what he wants to do,” said promoter Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “He wants to do unification fights if he is successful with Eleider Alvarez. That’s what he wants to do next; he’s been very clear about that.”

DiBella

Five former world champions stack the fight card at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.

Former welterweight world champs Andre Berto (31-5, 24 KOs) and Devon Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs) lead the charge in a 12-round clash. FOX will televise the main event and others at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET.

Berto, 34, has been fighting once a year so it’s difficult to determine if age has crept into his reflexes. When he knocked out Victor Ortiz in a rematch two years ago Berto looked sharp and dangerous. But against Shawn Porter a year ago, the crispness seemed gone and he quickly lost by knockout.

Alexander, 31, has the advantage of being a southpaw. But he always seems to do the minimum when he fights. Last February he slowed down and allowed Victor Ortiz to steal the fight. All the commotion by the announcers was for naught. Defense does not win fights, it allows you to win fights. The lack of offense in the latter rounds cost Alexander a win in a match that entered the books as a majority draw.

It’s a curious matchup of former world champions.

Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (33-1-1, 23 KOs) the former WBO middleweight titlist meets J’Leon Love (24-1-1, 13 KOs) in a super middleweight bout set for 10 rounds. It’s another intriguing fight especially between two fighters with great personalities.

Quillin, 35, was ambushed by Daniel Jacobs in the first round a year ago in losing the title. Was it bad luck, age or both? As a fighter the Brooklyn-based prizefighter has a ton of followers who like him as a person. Few are as classy as Quillin.

Love, 30, has long been a mainstay in Las Vegas and since his amateur days his abilities have been touted. Throughout the years Love has shown that charm and friendliness can go a long ways, even in the bitter wars of prizefighting. But the time has come to see if he belongs in the prizefighting world. Quillin will present an immense challenge for Love.

A number of other interesting fights are slated to take place among former world champions including Sergey Lipinets who lost the super lightweight title to Mikey Garcia this past winter. There’s also Luis Collazo in a welterweight match.

One world title fight does take place on the card.

Female WBA super middleweight titlist Alicia Napoleon (9-1) makes the first defense of her title against Scotland’s Hannah Rankin (5-1). It’s a 10 round bout and the first time Napoleon defends the title since winning it last March against Germany’s Femke Hermans. Ironically, Hermans now has the WBO super middleweight title after defeating former champ Nikki Adler by decision this past May.

L.A. Congestion

Next week the city of Angels will be packed with three fight cards in four days.

First, on Wednesday Aug. 8, 360 Promotions stages Abraham Lopez (9-1-1, 3 KOs) versus Gloferson Ortizo (12-0-1, 6 KOs) in the main event at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood, Calif. This is Filipino fighter Ortizo’s ninth fight this year. You read that correctly.

All of Ortizo’s fights have taken place across the border in Tijuana. The 32-year-old now returns to California against another Californian in Lopez. He’ll be looking for his fourth consecutive knockout, but Lopez, 22, has not lost a fight since his pro debut. Inactivity might come into play for Lopez who hasn’t stepped in the boxing ring in over a year.

New York’s Brian Ceballo (3-0) returns in a six round welterweight bout against local fighter Tavorus Teague (5-20-4). Ceballo, who is promoted by 360 Promotions, looked good in his last appearance. The amateurish punches seen in his first two bouts were gone by his third pro fight. His opponent Teague has ability and can give problems if Ceballo takes his foot off the pedal.

One of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s training partners Ali Akhmedov (11-0, 8 KOs) makes his California debut when he meets Jorge Escalante (9-1-1, 6 KOs) in a light heavyweight match.

Female super lightweight Elvina White (2-0) is also slated to compete. The entire fight card will be streamed at www.360promotions.us and on the 360 Promotions page on Facebook. First bell rings at 6:15 p.m.

Belasco Theater in downtown L.A. is the site of Golden Boy Promotions fight card on Friday Aug. 10. A pair of young prospects will be severely tested.

San Diego’s Genaro Gamez (8-0, 5 KOs) meets Filipino fighter Recky Dulay (10-3, 7 KOs) for the vacant NABF super featherweight title. For Dulay it’s always kill or be killed. Five of his last fights have ended in knockout wins or losses.

Gamez, 23, seems to thrive under pressure and broke down two veterans in back-to-back fights at Fantasy Springs Casino. Now he returns to the Belasco, a venue where he has struggled in the past. But this time he’s the main event.

Another being severely tested will be Emilio Sanchez (15-1, 10 KOs) facing veteran Christopher Martin (30-10-3, 10 KOs) who is capable of beating anyone.

Sanchez, 24, lost by knockout in his last fight this past March. He’s talented and fearless and one mistake cost him his first loss as a pro. He’s not getting a break against Martin, a cagey fighter who has upset many young rising prospects in the past. Martin also has experience against world champions. It’s an extremely tough matchup for Sanchez.

The fight card will be televised by Estrella TV beginning at 6 p.m.

World Title Fight

On Saturday, boxing returns to the Avalon Theater in Hollywood.

The main event is a good one as Puerto Rico’s Jesus Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs) defends the WBA featherweight world title against Southern California’s Jojo Diaz (26-1) in a 12 round clash. It’s power versus speed.

Rojas, 31, is one tough customer. When he took the interim title against Claudia Marrero last year he chased down the speedy southpaw Dominican and blasted him out in the seventh round. Several months earlier he obliterated another Golden Boy prospect, Abraham Lopez (not the same Abraham Lopez that is fighting on the 360 Promotions card), in eight rounds. Now he has the title and defends against the speedy southpaw Diaz.

Diaz, 25, just recently lost a bid for the WBC featherweight title against Gary Russell Jr. Though he lost by decision three months ago, that fight might be easy in comparison to this challenge against Rojas.

The former Olympian won’t be able to take a breath against the Puerto Rican slugger who is about as rough as they come.

Two more undefeated Golden Boy prospects get a chance to eliminate each other when Philadelphia’s Damon Allen (15-0-1) meets East L.A.’s Jonathan Navarro (14-0, 7 KOs) in a super lightweight fight set for 10 rounds.

Phillie versus East LA is like fire versus fire in the boxing ring. Boxers originating from those two hard-bitten areas usually have go-for-broke styles that result in pure action. Allen versus Navarro should not disappoint.

Allen, 25, is not a hard puncher but he’s aggressive and like most Philadelphia fighters, he’s not afraid to mix it up.

Navarro, 21, lives in East L.A. but trains in Riverside under Robert Garcia. He’s slowly finding his timing and will be facing the fastest fighter since his pro debut in 2015.

Others featured on the card will be Hector Tanajara, Aaron McKenna and Ferdinand Kerobyan.

The card will be streamed on the Golden Boy Fight Night page on Facebook beginning at 6 p.m.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Continue Reading

Canada and USA

What’s Next for Manny Pacquiao?

Kelsey McCarson

Published

on

retire

Manny Pacquiao isn’t quite ready to retire, and more big-money fights against high-level competition seem to be on the 39-year-old’s way.

“I feel like I’m a 27-year-old,” Pacquiao told GMAnetwork.com’s Jamil Santos last week. “Expect more fights to come.”

Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) looked exceptionally sharp in his seventh-round knockout win over former junior welterweight titleholder Lucas Matthysse on July 15 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was Pacquiao’s best performance in at least four years, netting Pacquiao a secondary world title at welterweight along with a slew of renewed public interest in the boxing superstar’s career.

But what comes next for the only fighter in the history of boxing to capture world titles in eight different weight classes? TSS takes a detailed look at the potential opponents for one of the sport’s most celebrated stars.

Cream of the Crop

Pacquiao looked good enough against Matthysse to suggest he’d make a viable candidate to face either Terence Crawford or Vasyl Lomachenko next. Crawford is ranked No. 2 on the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board’s pound-for-pound list while Lomachenko slots at No. 1.

While Pacquiao is no longer under contract with longtime promoter Bob Arum at Top Rank, most industry insiders expect he will continue working with Arum’s team in some capacity so long as his career keeps moving forward. Pacquiao started his own promotional venture, MP Promotions, to co-promote the Matthysse bout with Oscar De La Hoya, but Top Rank was still involved in the fight which is why the bout ended up streaming on ESPN+.

Top Rank’s two hottest commodities at the present are Ring Magazine and WBA lightweight champ Lomachenko and welterweight titlist Crawford. Both are highly-regarded, multi-division world titleholders in the primes of their careers who are universally considered the top fighters in boxing.

Lomachenko and Crawford would each present a unique set of problems for Pacquiao stylistically. Of the two, Pacquiao probably matches up best with Lomachenko at this point in his career. Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) is much larger and heavier than both Pacquiao and Lomachenko, and unless Pacquiao just really wants to test himself against someone incredibly dangerous, it’d probably be best for Team Pacquiao to avoid fighting Crawford at all costs. Crawford would be a heavy favorite against Pacquiao and most boxing insiders don’t believe this version of Pacquiao could compete with Crawford.

Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is naturally smaller than Pacquiao and has never fought above 135 pounds. If Pacquiao could lure Lomachenko to 140 pounds or above, he’d find himself in a winnable fight against a top-notch opponent. Lomachenko would probably be the slight favorite based on age alone but Pacquiao’s power and athleticism would give him a realistic chance to pull the upset.

Other Notable Possibilities

Former junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan has long been angling for a bout against Pacquiao. Khan faces Samuel Vargas on Sept. 8 in another comeback bout against lower level competition. Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) bravely moved up to middleweight to fight Canelo Alvarez in 2016 but was knocked out in the sixth round. He left the sport for a spell but returned to boxing in February as a welterweight with a sensational first round knockout win over Phil Lo Greco. A win over Vargas puts Khan in good position to secure a bout with Pacquiao, and the fight is a reasonable move by both camps. Pacquiao would probably be the heavy favorite, but Khan’s speed and long reach give him a decent chance to pull the upset.

Former welterweight titleholder Jeff Horn won a controversial decision over Pacquiao last year in Australia. The bout grabbed huge ratings for ESPN and there have been many debates since it happened as to which fighter truly deserved the nod from the judges. Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) doesn’t possess elite level talent, but he’s huge compared to Pacquiao and fights with such ferocity that the two can’t help but make an aesthetically pleasing fight together. Pacquiao would be the heavy favorite to defeat Horn if the two fight again.

Pacquiao vs. PBC fighters?

Boxing’s current political climate and the ongoing battle of promoters and television networks for the hearts and minds of boxing fans usually leaves many compelling fights between top level stars off the table. Fighters promoted by Top Rank and Golden Boy are almost never able to secure bouts with fighters signed to Al Haymon to appear under the Premier Boxing Champions banner and vice versa. But Pacquiao’s free agent status opens up new and interesting possibilities for the fighter to pursue noteworthy PBC fighters.

There had been lots of chatter about Pacquiao facing Mikey Garcia next. Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) has been decimating competition at both lightweight and junior welterweight. Garcia is considered by most experts to be one of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. He’s the TBRB junior welterweight champion and a unified lightweight titleholder (WBC, IBF). While Garcia is hoping to land a big money bout against IBF welterweight titleholder Errol Spence, most boxing experts believe the jump up to 147 pounds would be too much for the diminutive Garcia who began his career at featherweight. A better welterweight target for Garcia would be Pacquiao who also began his career in a much lower weight class.

Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) is probably the best of the PBC welterweights. He’s considered by many to be on par with Crawford at 147 so it would be an incredibly dangerous bout for Pacquiao to go after at this point in his career. But Spence is aggressive and fights in a style that Pacquiao traditionally matches up very well against. Spence would be the favorite based on size, age and skill.

Slightly less dangerous to Pacquiao would be facing the winner of the Sept. 8 battle between Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) and Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) are fighting for the vacant WBC welterweight title and the possibility of capturing another world title in his career could sway Pacquiao to seek out the winner. Pacquiao could find himself a slight favorite or underdog depending on which of the two fighters he would face, but both would be winnable fights.

The WBA welterweight champion is Keith Thurman. Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) is a good boxer with tremendous power but Pacquiao’s speed and athleticism would probably give him the leg up in that potential matchup. Thurman hasn’t fought in over 16 months though and recent pictures suggest he’s not in fighting shape at the moment, so the likelihood of a Pacquiao vs. Thurman fight is pretty much nil.

Some fans want Pacquiao to face Adrien Broner. Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) is a solid contender at 147 but probably doesn’t have the skill to seriously compete with Pacquiao. Pacquiao would be a significant favorite and would likely stop Broner if the two were able to meet in a boxing ring.

Mayweather-Pacquiao 2?

Pacquiao lost a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015, but the circumstances surrounding the fight, and the fact it was the biggest box office bash in the history of the sport, have led many to suspect the two fighters would meet again in a rematch.

Yes, Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) is retired, but he’s unretired several times in his career for big money fights including last year’s crossover megafight with UFC star Conor McGregor. While it seems unlikely to happen, Mayweather-Pacquiao 2 would still be a huge worldwide event worth millions of dollars to both fighters so those following the sport can never say never to the idea of it happening again.

While Mayweather is 41, he’d still get the nod as the betting favorite should he fight Pacquiao again based on what happened in the first fight as well as his stylistic advantage over Pacquiao.

Pacquiao vs. McGregor?

McGregor’s bout against Mayweather last year was such a financial success and the MMA star made so much more money in the boxing ring than he did as a UFC fighter that the idea of him returning to the sport to face Pacquiao isn’t as far-fetched as one might think.

Pacquiao vs. McGregor would be an easy sell to the general public. According to CompuBox, McGregor landed more punches against Mayweather than did Pacquiao, and the general consensus is that Mayweather-McGregor was more fun to watch than Mayweather-Pacquiao.

The size difference between the two would lead to an easy promotion. McGregor is a junior middleweight and Pacquiao has only competed at the weight once back in 2010. Despite all that, Pacquiao would be a significant favorite to defeat McGregor and rightly so. He’s too fast and too good a boxer, and his aggressive style would likely lead to a stoppage win.

Pacquiao’s Top Targets

Pacquiao’s top targets should be Mayweather, McGregor and Lomachenko. Pacquiao would stand to make the most money facing either Mayweather or McGregor. Pacquiao’s reportedly injured shoulder heading into 2015 bout left many wondering how the fight might be different had the Filipino gone into things at his best, and Mayweather’s age might play more of a factor in the second fight than it did in the first. A Pacquiao-McGregor fight would be a worldwide spectacle, one Pacquiao would be heavily favored to win. Besides, it’d be interesting to see if Pacquiao could stop McGregor sooner than historical rival Mayweather. Finally, Lomachenko might be trying to climb up weight classes too fast, and Pacquiao would certainly be fit to test the validity of that theory. It’d be one of the biggest fights in boxing and a win for Pacquiao would be another huge feather in the cap of one of boxing’s true historically great champions.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Marc-Abrams-Proof-That-Even-a-Boxing-PR-Guy-Can-Be-a-Fighter
Featured Articles1 week ago

Marc Abrams is Proof That Even a Boxing PR Guy Can Be a Fighter

Three-Punch-Combo-Observations-on-Kovalev-Yarde-and-other-Upcoming-Fights
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Three Punch Combo: Observations on Kovalev vs Yarde and other Upcoming Fights

Hughie-Fury-vs-Alexander-Povetkin-at-the-Crossroads
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Hughie Fury vs. Alexander Povetkin: At the Crossroads

Avila-Perspective-Chap-62-The-Diamond-Era-of-Boxing
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap 62: The Diamond Era of Boxing

Pico-Rivera-Summer-Fights-See-Cruz-Vega-and-Flores Win
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Pico Rivera Summer Fights See Cruz, Vega and Flores Win

Remembering-Jose-Mantequilla-Napoles-1940?-2019
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Remembering Jose ‘Mantequilla’ Napoles (1940?-2019)

The-Hauser-report-The-Return-of-Curtis-Harper
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

The Hauser Report: The Return of Curtis Harper

An-Eclectic-Undercard-Girds-Juan-Francisco-Estrada's-Hermosillo-Homecoming
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

An Eclectic Undercard Girds Juan Francisco Estrada’s Hermosillo Homecoming

Puerto-Rico's-Edwin-Rodriguez-Upsets-Saul-Sanchez-in-Corona
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Puerto Rico’s Edwin Rodriguez Upsets Saul Sanchez in Corona

Guillermo-Jones-The-Ever-Expanding-Man-was-One-Unconventional-Dude
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Guillermo Jones: The Ever-Expanding Man was One Unconventional Dude

The-President-The-Best-Alley-Fight-Companion?
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The Best Alley Fight Companion?

Weekend-Recap-Kovalev-Yarde-Estrada-Tanaka-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Weekend Recap: Kovalev – Yarde, Estrada, Tanaka and More

Avila-Perspective-Chap-61-Puerto-Rico-vs-Mexico-and-a-Weekend-Look-Ahead
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 61: Puerto Rico vs Mexico and a Weekend Look-Ahead

Luis-Feliciano-and-Blair-Cobbs-Remain-Undefeated-in-Desert-Showdowns
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Luis Feliciano and Blair Cobbs Remain Undefeated in Desert Showdowns

Three-Punch-Combo-Tim-Bradley's-IBHOF-Credentials-Ryota-Murata-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Three Punch Combo: Tim Bradley’s IBHOF Credentials, Ryota Murata and More

Looking-Ahead-to-Lomachenko-Campbell-and-Other-Fights-on-Saturday's-Docket
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Looking Ahead to Lomachenko-Campbell and Other Fights on Saturday’s Docket

In-Appreciation-of-Labor-Day-a-Guide-to-Boxers-Other-Occupationss
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

In Appreciation of Labor Day, a Guide to Boxers Other Occupations

Tanaka-and-Hatanaka-Stay-Undefeated-in-Nagoya
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Tanaka and Hatanaka Stay Undefeated in Nagoya

Michael-Hunter-is-Fueled-by-Thoughts-of-His-Father-as-he-Pusues-Heavyweight-Glory
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Michael Hunter is Fueled by Thoughts of his Father as he Pursues Heavyweight Glory

September-Sizzles-with-Fight-Cards
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 63: September Sizzles with Fight Cards

Holmes-Spinks-I-The-Grassy-Knoll-for-Boxing's-Conspiracy-Theorists
Featured Articles1 day ago

Holmes-Spinks I: The Grassy Knoll for Boxing’s Conspiracy Theorists

Fight-Notes-on-Independence-Day-Weekend
Featured Articles2 days ago

The Hauser Report: Fight Notes on Mexican Independence Day Weekend

Mexico's-Jaime-Munguia-KOs-Alottey-and-Franchon-Crews-Unifies
Featured Articles3 days ago

Mexico’s Jaime Munguia KOs Allotey and Franchon Crews Unifies

Fast-Results-from-Las-Vegas-Tyson-Fury-Overcomes-Doughty-Otto-Wallin
Featured Articles3 days ago

Fast Results from Las Vegas: Tyson Fury Overcomes Doughty Otto Wallin

Fast-Results-From-The-Big-Apple-Haney-Hunter-and-Serrano-Win-Handily
Featured Articles4 days ago

Fast Results from The Big Apple: Haney, Hunter, and Serrano Win Handily

The-Avila-Perspective-Chap=64-New-York-LA-and-Las-Vegas-Fights
Featured Articles4 days ago

The Avila Perspective, Chap. 64: New York, L.A. and Las Vegas Fights

Once-Upon-a-Time-A-Fighter-from-Sweden-Bob-Arum-and-the-Diabolical-Roy-Cohn
Featured Articles4 days ago

Once Upon a Time….A Fighter from Sweden, Bob Arum, and the Diabolical Roy Cohn

Fury-vs-Wilder-Echoed-Holmes-Shavers-Now-the-Gypsy-King-Has-an-Easier-Assignment
Featured Articles6 days ago

Fury vs. Wilder Echoed Holmes-Shavers; Now the Gypsy King Has an Easier Assignment

Whereabouts-Unknown-but-Quite-Dead-The-Sad-Saga-of-Barbados-Joe-Walcott
Featured Articles1 week ago

Whereabouts Unknown, but Quite Dead: The Sad Saga of Barbados Joe Walcott

Marc-Abrams-Proof-That-Even-a-Boxing-PR-Guy-Can-Be-a-Fighter
Featured Articles1 week ago

Marc Abrams is Proof That Even a Boxing PR Guy Can Be a Fighter

Three-Punch-Combo-Introducing-Agit-Kabayel-Under-the-Radar-Fights-and-More
Featured Articles1 week ago

Three Punch Combo: Introducing Agit Kabayel, Under the Radar Fights and More

Siarhei-Liakhovich-is-the-Latest-40-something-Heavyweight-to-Give it Another Whirl
Featured Articles1 week ago

Siarhei Liakhovich is the Latest 40-something Heavyweight to Give It Another Whirl

Garcia-Promotions-Draws-a-Crowd-to-see-Prospects-in-San-Bernardino
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Garcia Promotions Draws a Crowd to See Prospects in San Bernardino

The-President-The-Best-Alley-Fight-Companion?
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The Best Alley Fight Companion?

Azat-Crazy-A-Hovhannysian-KOs-Franklin-Manzanilla-in-WBA-Eliminator
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Azat ‘Crazy A’ Hovhannisyan KOs Manzanilla in WBA Eliminator

November's-Freak-Fight-on-LA-Poses-a-Dilemma-for-Boxing-Journalists
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

November’s Freak Fight in LA Poses a Dilemma for Boxing Journalists

September-Sizzles-with-Fight-Cards
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 63: September Sizzles with Fight Cards

Erislandy-Lara-KOs-Ramon-Alvarez-and-asks-for-Canelo-or-Errol-Spence-Next
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Erislandy Lara KO’s Ramon Alvarez and Asks for Canelo or Errol Spence Next

Michael-Hunter-is-Fueled-by-Thoughts-of-His-Father-as-he-Pusues-Heavyweight-Glory
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Michael Hunter is Fueled by Thoughts of his Father as he Pursues Heavyweight Glory

Three-Punch-Combo-Tim-Bradley's-IBHOF-Credentials-Ryota-Murata-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Three Punch Combo: Tim Bradley’s IBHOF Credentials, Ryota Murata and More

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement