Four short months. If the March 13 “Super Fight Of The Century” pushes through between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., it will only be exactly 120 days between fights for our Filipino champ. Is that enough time for Manny to recover and recharge before inflicting Money’s first-ever defeat?
I think so. I hope so. Because while Manny had six months of rest before facing Miguel Cotto and five months between Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, he’ll have less recovery time against Money. Still, I believe that’s sufficient.
For here’s what Manny’s schedule will look like: This December, he’ll relax and recuperate. He’ll finish shooting “Wapakman” and, come Christmas, he’ll be merry and, on New Year’s, he’ll be happy. Then, when the clock strikes “2010,” he’ll focus on boxing.
Bob Arum has targeted New York and the date, Jan. 11, for the formal introduction of Manny vs. Money. “It’s one press conference, in the Big Apple, and that is it,” said Arum. So, my guess is, after that NYC visit, Manny returns to Manila, drives up to Baguio City and begins training. In all, he’ll have eight weeks. And, hasn’t Manny repeatedly trained, in his own words, for “no more, no less than eight weeks?”
True. And eight weeks prior to the super fight is Jan. 17. That’s over a month from now. By then, Manny’s injured right eardrum should have healed.
His candidacy for Congressman? Oh. We almost forgot that. But Manny hasn’t. And my guess is he’ll fly to Sarangani on Sundays. But here’s the good news: Manny hardly needs to campaign. No, I’m not saying Manny’s a shoo-in to win. But who doesn’t know him in Sarangani? Who doesn’t idolize the hero? And so, for January and February, he’ll run and run… for boxing. Then, after March 13—with two months left—he’ll run and run… for public office.
Perfect, right? Manny beats Money, earns P2,000,000,000.00, retires from boxing, and wins the elections as Congressman Pacquiao? Knowing how astute and brilliant Manny is, this is the story line he’s dreaming of: A happy ending for boxing, a new beginning in politics.
What does Freddie Roach think? “We’re happy it could be happening, but I’m surprised it’s happened so quick,” he said. “We will have to start training right after New Year’s Day so that we get our customary 10 weeks in. I guess we will have a month in the Phils. followed by the remainder at my (Wild Card) gym. I really like it when Manny stays so active, when there is not much down time. He stays sharp and that is good.
“We see flaws in Mayweather. Sure, he is great defensively but we see some flaws which we can exploit. Whether it’s those shoulder rolls or anything else, defense does not win fights completely. We know what we can do against Mayweather. I know Manny can’t be hurt by Mayweather… Manny can walk right through anything Mayweather throws.
“I do think it helps that the election campaign goes on after this key fight. We can have as good if not a better training camp than we had for the last fight.”
Want another analysis? Here’s one of the best, courtesy of boxing trainer Nazim Richardson: “From Floyd’s perspective: the minute you start talking about how small Pacquiao is, you’re beat. I told Shane, ‘If you fight him, if anybody in the camp calls you bigger than Pacquiao, I’ll put them out of the camp.’
“Because that’s just media s#!&. Every time they mention Pacquiao they mention he started at 106 lbs. Well, hot damn, all of us at one time were under 25lbs! I got up to be over 300 lbs, but one time I was under 25 lbs. Why do they talk like that, ‘You know he started his career at 106.’
“But they keep bringing it up and I told them the same thing; the greatest trick the devil ever did was convince the world he didn’t exist. The greatest trick that Pacquiao ever did was convince you all that he was a small man! And he’s going to keep beating the s@%! out of people who keep thinking he’s a small man. At 147 lbs., Pacquiao is a small man like Mike Tyson was a small heavyweight!”