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Booking the Perfect Manny Pacquiao Comeback Card

Okay. There are some things to be hashed out and explained before I dive deep into this piece.

“Perfect,” when it comes to Pacquiao’s comeback show, is made up of about 50% quality and 50% reality. In other words, the fights have to be good (especially his), but they also have to be realistically doable. We’d all want Pacquiao-Mayweather 2 atop a card of Fury-Joshua, Canelo-GGG, and Spence-Crawford. But, that isn’t ever going to happen. A Lot, by the way, isn’t realistically going to happen in today’s boxing business environment and Covid atmosphere.

So, let’s just start with the main event.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Shawn Porter

Why Porter? Because he’s the best opponent Team Pacquiao will be able to wrangle without having to jump through hoops, limbo underneath business barriers, and spar over money. Porter will take the generous purse offered to him and try to kick rear end, because he’s just that type of man and fighter. The two also have history as former sparring partners. Oh, yeah, and it’ll also be a darn good, entertaining matchup.

Gilberto Ramirez vs. Jean Pascal

This light heavyweight clash would be a nice, competitive tussle. Former super middleweight champ, Ramirez, recently severed ties with Top Rank and two-time and reigning WBA light heavyweight champ, Pascal, only has loose ties (if any) with any promoters and/or networks. That makes this bout not only an important one in the 175 lb. division, but also realistically doable. Above all else, though, this is just a good fight.

Amir Khan vs. Ivan Redkach

Not a great fight, you’re saying? Again, we have to be realistic. Khan still has a bankable name and is not hopelessly tied to any one promoter or network. Signing him up could be a relatively simple task. He’d be working under the impression that he might get Pacquiao next. Redkach, meanwhile, is no bum and would make Khan work.

Roman Gonzalez vs. Anyone Reasonably Durable

The opening bout on the PPV card would be all about “Chocolatito” and seeing how well he can still deliver a virtuoso offensive performance. He’ll be handed a fall guy for this high-profile appearance and will love the attention it can garner him.

As for venue? Well, that won’t matter one bit, assuming we’re doing crowdless shows. This’ll be an all-PPV show, so it would be better to have it in a USA-friendly time zone. But not having it USA-accessible is not necessarily a deal killer. They could stage the thing in Manny’s enormous back yard if they wanted. Logistics would be the number one factor when it comes to location. It would have to take place in a part of the world easily accessible to incoming fighters. Or maybe in a place where there are enough world class fighters already present.

So, what do you think? It’s by no means the best card ever or even the best fantasy card that could be slapped together in the present tense. But it’s doable. It’ll be entertaining. And, perhaps best of all for potential organizers, it would generate plenty of buys.

Paul Magno
Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

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