Roach on Mayweather-Pacquiao II: I Can’t See It, We Have Options

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The 40-year-old Filipino Manny Pacquiao wrote another improbable chapter in his glittering career on Saturday, with an age-defying split decision victory over the hitherto unbeaten Keith Thurman.

Pacquiao, a full decade older than the 30-year-old Thurman, rolled back the years with a vintage performance that had a sold out crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena roaring in delight.

It was the Filipino’s 62nd win of a 71-fight career that has spanned 24 years. Veterans at ringside described the performance as Pacquiao’s best since his dazzling win over Antonio Margarito in 2010.

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Thurman, who had returned to boxing in January after a 22-month layoff, admitted he had not been able to cope with Pacquiao’s relentless energy.

Post-fight statistics told the story, with Pacquiao outpunching Thurman by 686 to 571.

By recapturing a slice of the welterweight division in such dazzling style, he has thrust himself back into relevance.

Even more lucrative paydays are his for the asking if he chooses to pursue them.

The question of a rematch of his 2015 “Fight of the Century” against Floyd Mayweather also continues to linger.

Mayweather, who was at ringside to watch Pacquiao’s masterclass on Saturday, remains firmly retired, and has not fought since his cross-combat spectacle with mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor nearly two years ago.

Leonard Ellerbe, the chief executive of Mayweather Promotions and a close confidante, said last week Mayweather has “zero interest” in a second Pacquiao fight. Whether that interest could be piqued by the prospect of a gargantuan payday remains to be seen.

Pacquiao, who left Las Vegas on a private jet for the Philippines within hours of Saturday’s win to resume his duties as a Senator in his homeland, said he plans to take a long rest, suggesting he will not fight again this year.

Long-time trainer Freddie Roach, meanwhile, told AFP that Pacquiao’s camp would take their time before choosing their next opponent.

“Someone just asked me ‘What’s next?’,” Roach said. “Well, you know what? We don’t need to think about what’s next for a while.

“Manny can go away and rest and we’ll think about it later on. We need to see what’s out there.”

Roach acknowledged however that he thinks a Mayweather sequel is unlikely to happen.

“I can’t see it,” Roach said. “Floyd’s retired and his people say there is no interest. But there will be other options.”




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