Roach: I’m going to ask Pacquiao to move down to 140
By Chris Williams: Trainer Freddie Roach says he’s going to ask his fighter Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s) to move down to 140 in order to see if he can get his missing knockout power back. Pacquiao hasn’t knocked out an opponent in the past five years in fighting in the 147lb division, and Roach believes the knockout drought is caused by a combination of Pacquiao fighting in the wrong division that his body wasn’t intended to be fighting in, and due to his advancing age.
Roach feels that the 35-year-old Pacquiao will do much better at light welterweight where he previously knocked out Ricky Hatton in 2009. The only fighters that Pacquiao has knocked out in the welterweight division were Miguel Cotto and a weight-drained Oscar De La Hoya, who was at the very end of his career when he took that fight.
“Manny Pacquiao – he’s not a great puncher at 147 like everyone thinks,” Roach said to maxboxing. “Everyone says he’s not getting the knockouts like with Hatton and those knockouts were at 135 and 140. I’m going to ask him if we can fight at 140 because that’s a better weight for him. He has no trouble making 140…he’s fighting these bigger, stronger guys. Bradley was at least 160 going into that ring.”
Roach might want to run this by Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum, because I have a feeling that he’s not going to like the idea of Pacquiao moving down to 140, where Arum is thin in terms of having big name fighters in his stable. By having Pacquiao stay at 147, Arum can match him in another pot of gold fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. But if Pacquiao moves back down to 140, Arum’s options for him consist of Jessie Vargas, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Brandon Rios and Ruslan Provodnikov. None of those guys would likely bring in more than 450, 000 to 500,000 pay-per-view buys at best. I see Arum vetoing Roach’s idea of having Pacquiao move down to the light welterweight or lightweight divisions to try and extend his career.
I doubt seriously that Arum would match Pacquiao with Provodnikov because my understanding is that he’s only under contract with Top Rank for 1 more fight. Provodnikov fights for Banner Promotions. Arum isn’t likely going to make that fight because then Provodnikov would be getting popular with his help, but then would be going back to Banner to resume his career after likely giving Pacquiao a lot of problems. So that fight is probably never going to happen. What we’re looking at then is Pacquiao fighting Vargas, Allakhverdiev and Rios. Those fights aren’t going to get anyone excited.
If Pacquiao stays at 147, then Arum can get the 5th fight for him against Marquez, and then match him back up with Bradley another 2-3 times. Arum also can throw in the mix Mike Alvarado. That’s not a great fight, but Arum promotes Alvarado, so he’ll likely get his turn against Pacquiao in the near future regardless of how things go with his May 17th fight against Marquez.
Pacquiao would be better off fighting at 140 or 135. Fighting 135, would be the best option for Pacquiao, because his power would be more pronounced and he could face guys like Yuriorkis Gamboa, Terence Crawford, Ray Beltran, Ricky Burns, Miguel Vazquez, and Richard Abril. Those would be good fights for Pacquiao, and it might rejuvenate his career by making him more exciting due to his increase in speed due to him being lighter.