Freddie Roach says Pacquiao might want Golovkin next
By Chris Williams: Trainer Freddie Roach says welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao might overreach for his next fight by going after Gennady Golovkin, and he wouldn’t recommend him doing so.
Roach doesn’t say that the 41-year-old Pacquiao has explicitly told him that he wants to fight IBF middleweight champion Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) or not. As long as Pacquiao isn’t asking Golovkin to drain down to 154 or 147 to fight him, there’s nothing wrong with the two of them fighting. Pacquiao is a warrior, and he’s not afraid of fighting a SMALL middleweight. Golovkin should be fighting at 154, but he chooses to compete at 160.
While it may sound like an insane idea for Pacquiao to fight Golovkin rather than a welterweight, one can see how this is something that could help him immensely.
Would Golovkin agree to fight Manny?
It’s questionable whether Golovkin would agree to fight Pacquiao because it’s a no-win situation for him. Further, Golovkin is already scheduled to face an unknown fighter in Kamil Szeremeta, and after that, he could be facing Canelo Alvarez in May 2021.
Pacquiao is a senator in the Philippines and plays well for him to take on monstrous puncher like Golovkin. Any way you look at it, Pacquiao is better off fighting Golovkin than he would be if he sticks to the 147-lb weight class to fight the guys that Roach wants him to.
Roach wants Pacquiao to take a soft fight against Mikey Garcia, which would likely be a mismatch. No one believes that Mikey can beat Pacquiao, and very boxing fans would want to pay to see a poor match-up like that. Mikey hasn’t proven himself as deserving of a title shot after his loss to IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in 2019.
For Mikey to get yet ANOTHER world title shot after his win over 2nd tier [non-contender] Jessie Vargas, it’s a bad look. Mikey should have to beat two or three top contenders before being given another crack at a world title.
It’s a great career move for Pacquiao to fight GGG
You can see why Pacquiao would want to fight Golovkin. These are the positives:
- Payday much better for Pacquiao against Golovkin than if he fights Mikey Garcia or Terence Crawford
- The fallout won’t be as bad for Pacquiao if he loses to GGG. It’s a situation where if Pacquiao even looks slightly good, he comes out of the match looking like a star.
- It plays well for Pacquiao in the Philippines for him to show courage in facing a much bigger fighter like Golovkin. Going up to 160 would be a tremendous show of bravery on Pacquiao’s part to face Golovkin and go out on his shield against the KO artist. Pacquiao is a politician, and this would be an excellent way of helping his career by taking on Golovkin rather than Mikey Garcia or Crawford
It’s hard to believe Pacquiao would volunteer to face a big puncher like GGG, but anything is possible. Golovkin looked horrible in beating Sergiy Derevynachenko by a controversial 12 round decision last October. Pacquiao might sense weakness in the 38-year-old Golovkin that he can exploit.
Manny did an excellent job of selecting Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman as his last opponent, following his poor performance against Josesito Lopez in his previous fight. Does that make Pacquiao an opportunist? You tell me. If we had seen Pacquiao looking to fight Thurman in 2017, it would be a different story.
“Manny wants to beat the best out there. I like that fight [Mikey Garcia],” said Roach to DAZN. “But the thing is, Manny might wants to go a little bit higher and fight GGG or one of those guys who’s supposed to be the best. I would not advise him to go to 160lbs, no. That would be a little crazy. But putting him at 147 was a risk at one time.”
GGG has previous experience against welterweights
Golovkin stopped welterweight Kell Brook in the fifth round in 2016 in a competitive fight in London, England. It was a costly fight for Brook, as he suffered a fractured eye socket in the match, which resulted in the contest being halted in the fifth. But if not for the injury, who knows what would have happened?
Brook was landing a lot of shots, and making Golovkin look uncoordinated and inept in comparison. Kell had better boxing skills, and talent but GGG had the size and power.
I don’t want to drizzle on Roach’s parade, but Golovkin isn’t “one of those guys who’s supposed to be the best.” No one is saying that the grizzled old veteran GGG is supposed to be “the best” at this point in his career.
Golovkin lost to Canelo in 2018 and should have lost his last fight against Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Golovkin will be milking his IBF 160-pound title against a weak opponent Kamil Szeremeta in his next fight in 2020.
The fact that Golovkin is looking to face a weak opponent in Szeremeta instead of a trilogy match with Canelo suggests that he’s no longer interested in meeting the best and looking to ease out of the sport with mostly soft fights.
Freddie Roach not pushing Pacquiao to take risks
Roach wants Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) to defend his WBA 147-pound title against #3 WBA ranked contender Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) next, but Manny wants the best.
Unfortunately, the 32-year-old Mikey isn’t perceived to be the best at 147 or even the fifth-best. Mikey is just a little guy looking to get a big fight against Pacquiao, and the fans would see that fight as a forlorn money-grab if it takes place.
It’s disappointing that Roach wants Pacquiao to fight Mikey Garcia next rather than one of the talented welterweight. Mikey was beaten like a drum by IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence last year in March. Spence looked like he was toying with Mikey, and it wasn’t remotely competitive.
Mikey, 5’6″, just looked like a short, fat guy that didn’t belong in the ring with Spence. That fight showed that Mikey doesn’t belong at 147, and he needs to go back down to 135 to compete with the likes of Vasiliy Lomachenko, Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, and Teofimo Lopez.
Mikey NOT a good option for Pacquiao
The money is better for Mikey at 147, and that’s probably the sole reason why he’s fighting in this weight division. In Mikey’s last fight, he was matched against an over-the-hill Jessie Vargas, and he beat him by a 12 round unanimous decision.
Although Vargas is a former two-division world champion, he was no longer ranked in the top 15 by any of the sanctioning bodies at the time that Mikey fought him. Vargas hadn’t beaten anyone in ages, and it was strange that Mikey’s management signed him up as his opponent to try and prove to the fans that he belongs at 147.
It would have been better if Mikey’s management put him in with a relevant welterweight like Yordenis Ugas rather than a shot fighter like Vargas, who’s career went belly up four years ago in 2016.
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- Errol Spence: ‘I can’t stand’ Keith Thurman, he ain’t going to fight me’