Fights fans in general and Manny Pacquiao followers in particular will have an extra incentive to turn out to see the Pinoy Idol’s May 7 fight against Hall Of Famer Sugar Shane Mosley.
The bout to be held at the familiar MGM Grand Garden Arena, site of so many magical matches including appearances by Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield Tito Trinidad, Oscar de la Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez and more ring supernovas could the last Pacman fight to be held in North America for a while.
That’s the word from Pacquiao agent Michael Koncz, on a short holiday visit in the Los Angeles area to see friends and family before he returns to the Philippines to accompany Manny, wife Jinkee and their children on what they hope will be a somewhat private vacation to Japan and to one other foreign land.
Having just turned age 32, and talking about how his glorious career is winding down a bit, Pacquiao intends to put the emphasis on “world” as to his world champion status, Koncz said.
“Manny will do what Muhammad Ali, Tyson and other extremely popular champs did and go fight in other countries and on other continents,” Koncz said Thursday.
“We have great interest and proposals from many other countries including the United Arab Emirates where there are so many Filipino guest workers. We’ve also had a bid which came from the Nigerian government for a fight over there.
“Manny loves fighting in Vegas, he loves how he’s treated at the MGM Grand but this May fight might be the last we see of Las Vegas for a while.”
Koncz said media criticism of Pacquiao picking on the 39 year old Mosley is like water off a duck’s back. He doesn’t agree that Pacman is taking on a worn out. all but finished fighter.
“We feel it is a diffuclt fight against a difficult opponent. Mosley will be dangerous especially from the first through the fifth round. I mean, he hurt and wobbled Floyd Mayweather in the second round just last May and he is a proud, three time world champion.” the Canadian native said.
“Maybe, after the fifth round, the tide shifts to Manny but this is still a guy who hurt the undfeated Mayweather and what we hope is that Manny can do something that Floyd could not which is to stop Mosley.”
You don’t need to be able to read between the lines to know that Pacman promoter Bob Arum, who now has Mosley under his tent as well, will run, run and rerun footage of how Mosley briefly staggered Mayweather when they fought.
Pacquioa has expressed empathy for Mayweather’s assorted legal problems. I asked Koncz if they think the Big Fight will ever take place or whether they’ve just begun to ignore the troubled Floyd.
“Personally, I think Mayweather has gone off the deep end with Manny getting all the acclaim, all the publicity and having the two big fights with big crowds at Cowboys Stadium this past year. I think Mayweather hates being out of the limelight like this.
“Mayweather still has his fans, his followers but they remain quiet. Will he and Manny ever fight?
“I think so but I think Floyd’s undefeated record is so precious to him that he wants to wait until such time as he believes that Manny has aged or his talent is just slipping or something like this. Floyd may not be able to mentally handle the idea of not being unbeaten,” Koncz said.
“I think Floyd’s mental focus is all about the undefeated status and now the media, many of whom knocked us fight (Antonio) Margarito, came around and the fight was entertaining and the fans liked it.
“I also think Mayweather is bothered by how some of his fans have been converted, how some of them have become Manny fans and now want to see Manny go out and kick his butt. So, yes, we want the fight but we won’t sit by and wait for Mayweather, that’s for sure.”
Manny Pacquiao, the World Tour starting in 2011?
It could happen.