Manny Pacquiao’s quote unquote retirement was short-lived, and the eight-division boxing world champion will be back inside the ring in less than a month’s time. The fighting Senator of the Philippines is scheduled to face WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 5th, but he also has his eyes set on junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford next, should he get past Vargas.
According to head trainer Freddie Roach, they turned down a fight against Crawford when it was offered to Pacquiao months before, because Roach wanted to see if the fire still burned in his star pupil. Speaking to Fight Hub TV, Roach said he wanted to see if Pacquiao could indeed become a fighting senator.
“The fight with Crawford didn’t happen, mostly because I wanted to see how this training camp (for Vargas) goes,” said Roach. “If it’s a good training camp and everything goes well…if being a senator works with his boxing, we’ll be okay.”
Fans weren’t too happy about Pacquiao’s selection of Vargas as an opponent, because fans feel that the Mexican-American fighter is not in the same class as the Filipino ring icon. Nevertheless, Roach admits that Crawford could very well be next in line should Pacquiao emerge victorious in his comeback bout.
“I just have to make sure that this is going to work first. If this doesn’t work, then we’re going to have to make some adjustments and change things a little bit,” said Roach. “But if it does work, then we can fight anybody.”
Crawford is of course one of the hottest tickets in boxing right now. At 29-years-old the Omaha, Nebraska native is undefeated at 29 wins and no losses. He also owns 20 knockouts to his credit and is widely-considered the future of the sport after both Pacquiao and rival Floyd Mayweather called it quits. Whether or not fans will get to see Pacquiao in the ring with Crawford next all depends on how the Filipino legend performs against Vargas.
Pacquiao’s last appearance in the ring was a unanimous decision victory over American Timothy Bradley in early April. He announced his retirement officially after the bout to focus on his political career. Months later, he rescinded the retirement and said he “missed boxing”. -By Carlos Cinco