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Arum expects Pacquiao back in early 2016

Manny PacquiaoBy Jim Dower: Welterweight contender Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) will begin the hard part of his rehab on his shoulder this week after he visits his doctor in the United States on July 3rd. As long as everything checks out for the 36-year-old Filipino star, he’ll be back inside the ring in early 2016. That’s what his promoter Bob Arum sees happening with him.

Arum is interested in matching him against his fighter WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs) if he can’t get Pacquiao a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Arum has already said he’s not interested in having Pacquiao test his shoulder out with a tune-up fight to make sure that he doesn’t reinjured it. Arum and trainer Freddie Roach are both on board with Pacquiao going straight into a tough fight against a world class opponent.

“Manny is coming over to see the doctor and then he will start his serious rehab,” Arum said to ESPN.com. “He’ll stay here for probably about two weeks and then he will go back to the Philippines.”

Arum is confident that Pacquiao would do well in a rematch with Mayweather if he has both shoulders healthy. Arum thinks that Pacquiao fought well enough to deserve the decision against Floyd in their fight on May 2nd. It stands to reason that if Pacquiao fought well enough to beat Mayweather with a torn right rotator cuff that he fought with the entire 12 round decision fight, then he’ll do even better in the rematch now that the shoulder has been surgically repaired by the doctors. Mayweather won the fight by the scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 116-112. Two of the scores were fairly close.

Mayweather might have been able to win by a wider score if he hadn’t appeared to take rounds off by fighting with his back against the ropes in several of the rounds in the first half of the fight. Trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. got on Mayweather’s case during the first half of the fight about him fighting against the ropes and not being aggressive enough. In the last six rounds, Mayweather fought with more aggression and stayed of the ropes. At this point, Pacquiao did very poor and appeared to lose the last six rounds of the fight consecutively.

Pacquiao, Arum and Roach will know well before Pacquiao’s fight in early 2016 whether or not his shoulder has healed up properly. There are some fighters who come back from rotator cuff surgery who are never the same again in terms of their punching power with the shoulder. If that’s a case with Pacquiao, then he’ll have to depend on his hand speed, work rate and left hand to do most of his work. But hopefully for Pacquiao’s sake, he’ll still be able to use his right shoulder as much as he did before. If he’s only able to throw half as many punches as he did before with his right hand, he could have problems against the likes of Crawford and Mayweather.

Pacquiao can do better than to fight guys like Crawford if he wants to make more money on pay-per-view. Crawford isn’t a star, and it’s not a fight that will bring in the big PPV numbers. Pacquiao should be looking to face guys like Kell Brook, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Lamont Peterson, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, and Miguel Cotto. If he’s feeling really ambitious, then a catch-weight fight against Gennady Golovkin would be an excellent fight at 153 or 152. But a fighter like Crawford wouldn’t bring in enough pay-per-view buys for Pacquiao to be worth the trouble for taking the fight. If Pacquiao takes that fight, he’d be doing Arum more of a favor than he would himself because Crawford isn’t a big enough star yet for it to be a viable fight.


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