Inactive Pacquiao Still Steals Welterweight Thunder

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Errol Spence Jr. is set to meet Danny Garcia in a pay-per-view clash from Cowboy’s stadium in Arlington, Texas and there’s plenty of intrigue involved in that encounter. Spence is coming back from a horrendous car wreck last fall against a Garcia who is, most likely, down to his last shot at cracking the elite three in the division.

Another 147 lb. top dog, Terence Crawford, is just about three weeks removed from a stellar performance. This time around, he brutally knocked out former champ Kell Brook on a showcase ESPN telecast.

Fellow welterweight player Keith Thurman is making noise about a comeback. Shawn Porter was just victorious this past August. Mikey Garcia is still insisting on making waves in the division.

But, despite all of these talented fighters doing their thing in the top-heavy 147 lb. division with so many big fight possibilities all around, a currently inactive Manny Pacquiao remains the main topic of conversation.

“After this fight, of course I would like to fight Manny Pacquiao,” Spence recently told SunSport. “He’s on his way out so I’d love to have that fight.

“He’s a living legend, and I’ve never fought someone of that caliber. He’s big and not just a boxing star, he’s an icon, a mega-star.

“That would be different and it would send me somewhere else popularity-wise…That would be a great fight for me.”

Crawford has also jumped on the Pacquiao train, telling Brian Custer on The Last Stand Podcast: “[I want to fight] Manny Pacquiao for sure, I’ve been calling for that since 2015, and that’s the crazy part, that fight still haven’t happened.”

The Omaha, Nebraska native would also express his respectful Pacquiao hunger to FightHype.com:

“I want Pacquiao.  I don’t know, Manny is a true champion. He has never ran away from any challenge anytime, So that is just him being the great Manny Pacquiao he is, you know. Fighting these young lions and beating two of them- Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman.”

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why all these stars want to latch on to an inactive Pacquiao.

There’s the most obvious reason– money. Of course. Pacquiao is still a major draw in the sport and, possibly, remains a Top 3 pay-per-view money generator. Anyone matched against Manny is guaranteed to make a nice payday for their efforts, win or lose.

Fighting Pacquiao will also get a fighter an instant boost in media attention, which, obviously, also translates into more money.

A more cynical reason behind chasing after Pacquiao, though, is in the fact of when they’ll be meeting this legend and future Hall of Famer.

Pacquiao will be 42 in two weeks and he’s clearly in the closing stretch of a spectacular 25-year career. Smart fight matchmaking strategy always pursues the biggest reward for the least amount of risk and the thought is that, by facing Pacquiao now, these young, hungry lions would be catching him at his weakest and most vulnerable.

This is a tried and true strategy in the boxing game, but it’s not always successful. Just ask Keith Thurman and Adrien Broner about that. A post-prime Pacquiao handled both nicely

Regardless of the reason he wears a target, the buzz over Pacquiao proves that his star power still resonates and his name still has true value in the game.

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