Is that even a word?

And yeah, Manny Pacquiao wants it.

As I wait for this guy to empty his funds to make some sort of Pacquiao-verse with Wapakman as the leader and his other incarnations as his cohorts (variety host Pacquiao, inspirational talk show host Pacquiao, action movie actor Pacquiao, PBA player Pacquiao, billiard player Pacquiao, politician Pacquiao, comedy actor Pacquiao and singing sensation Pacquiao just to name a few), his July 20 against Keith Thurman could be significant.

I saw the Sugar Ray Leonard interview and he got adamant at the fact that his mind wants what his body doesn’t want and I kind of get it. This is basically another version on how Isiah Thomas would rather sunbathe in some hotel pool than go to team practices – which basically prompted the legendary baller to hang up his sneakers.

Pacquiao is stubborn like hell though.

Back in the day, a 41-year-old Leonard would be seen as washed up. Right now, a 40-year-old Pacman is still considered as a draw. When Oscar de la Hoya retired after losing to the Fighting Pride of the Philippines, the sport still had the peak versions of Floyd Mayweather, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, and even Canelo Alvarez for that matter. A couple of years ago, Mayweather had to fight Conor McGregor to get a great fight purse. This is the state of boxing and believe it or not, Pacquiao is genuinely finding the right guy to pass his torch.

And unlike Lucas Matthysse, Keith Thurman is looking at Pacquiao to fuel his Hall of Fame career.

I still think one of Bob Arum’s biggest duds as a boxing promoter is that he let Pacquiao lose to the likes of Timothy Bradley and Jeff Horn. With Bradley, he had the tools to succeed but his semi-turtle fight style suggests that he is anything but a lesser version of Money Mayweather. With Horn? Well after losing for the first time and losing to Terence Crawford in his first match away from Australia, Horn got a win in Australian soil against then-42-year-old boxer/rugby player Anthony Mundine. Horn never acted like the next boxing sensation which is why he has yet to do anything significant since losing the belt.

So yeah.

I think Pacquiao still wants to act as the sport’s gatekeeper. The Lucas Matthysse match is important because he made American heads turn. Now he is back in the United States and he wants an undefeated fighter who is eleven years younger than him to push him to the limit.

Oh shit, I forgot the Adrien Broner match happened.

The match was a clinic of sorts for Pacquiao but Broner did try to participate. With that said, Pacquiao’s awesomeness doomed The Problem in the eyes of the crowd and in the eyes of the judges.  

Keith Thurman is right to say that Manny Pacquiao is disrespecting him. In reality, a young boxer should never lose to an old boxer. Worse, an old boxer shouldn’t demand a match against a young boxer with the mindset of knocking the young one out. I mean, just think of a forty-something Vince Carter demanding a one-on-one dunk-off against the current champion, Hamidou Diallo. Sure, Diallo will not have a Hall of Fame career like Air Canada but there is still a 22-year age gap.

But then, Pacquiao is also the only eight-division world champion on the planet. Freddie Roach has returned to his side and he has already freed himself from Arum. He also developed a new and improved style. And Thurman may be awesome, but none of his fights have star power written, unlike this fight.

This is both dumb and brave for Pacquiao… and I guess we’re still going to watch this.

And that’s the thing.

Just imagine Pacquiao acting like Simon Cowell… and he’s thinking Thurman could be his ugh... Westlife (just bear with me). Pacquiao has done it all for the sport of boxing and he wants to leave the sport with the proper torchbearer. When you check out his interviews, all he wants is a good fight which is why he chose Thurman. Just look at Broner. What promised to be an exciting fight became a showcase of Pacquiao’s skills. Thurman needs to know that regardless of the outcome, he needs to fight Pacquiao sans rest holds, backpedaling or whatever.

And like I said, Pacquiao knows this.



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