Pacman is worth the money.
Manny Pacquiao appeared on 60 Minutes this past Sunday. Now he's on his way to Dallas to finish getting ready for his bout with former welterweight champ Antonio Margarito.
When this bout was first signed, many boxing experts were displeased that one of the all-time greats would fight a man who had been caught using loaded wraps in one of his previous fights.
I understand why they were concerned. But let me tell you why any true boxing fan won't want to miss this one.
Margarito can punch.
Freddie Roach said it on 60 Minutes. He's worried about this fight.
With Manny's increased responsibilities come more distractions. One can't help but admire Pacquiao's dedication to his people and love of country. I wish we had a few like him here in the US.
But shuttling between congressional votes and working the mitts can't be the best strategy for training for a big fight.
Word from Manny's camp is that the fighter has been much more focused since he arrived in Los Angeles two weeks ago. That and his speed should make the difference.
But Margarito is big and he can punch. So Pacquiao needs to be in top form to win this one.
Wanna bet on a knockout.
I drink your milkshake!
Both of these guys are going to come to fight and both of them have knockout power. But they both have great chins, so it will be a battle.
I doubt it will go the distance, but it won't be over in one or two rounds either, so everyone should get their money's worth with this one.
I don't care what anyone says. I know it is a catch-weight fight. I know Margarito has fought his best at welterweight.
But if Manny captures a belt in his eighth weight category, it will be an amazing feat nonetheless.
He started at 106 as a skinny 16-year-old fighting for peanuts. Now he's a ripped 150 and fighting for millions.
Pretty good for a kid who used to sell cigarettes in the streets.
The chemistry between Freddie Roach, the greatest trainer of his era, and Pacquiao, the greatest fighter of his era, has been a joy to watch.
Few partnerships have ever been as successful. Manny's progression from street brawler with explosive power, to unhittable chess grand master is almost complete.
The only question now is if Pacman can get even better at this late stage of his career.
There has been a game of one-upmanship going on between the Mayweather camp and the Pacquiao camp since before Manny beat Oscar in 2008. The most recent negotiations involved shuttle diplomacy between the two camps and Ross Greenburg of HBO.
According to everyone involved, a deal was made between the two parties. But when the dust cleared, Floyd Jr. denied ever authorizing anyone to represent him and refused to sign the contract.
I guarantee you that Floyd was annoyed to hear that Manny was declared the most popular athlete in the world two weeks ago.
Now if Manny rings up big-time Pay Per View numbers, it could get Floyd back to the table. Then again it might not.
But we can hope. It is the only chance we have to force Floyd to fight.
I know, I know. Every boxer claims he's going to retire on top. But fight fans have to know that Manny isn't going to fight forever.
His election to Congress in the Philippines signaled a change in directions for Pacman whether fight fans like it or not. On HBO's 24/7, Freddie Roach tells a story about Manny mentioning to the trainer that he misses his "job."
When Freddie asked what he meant by the remark, Pacquiao replied that he missed being in Congress. The way I see it, Manny has one, maybe two fights left.
He desperately wants to fight Mayweather but he won't wait around forever. If that fight doesn't materialize look for Manny to fight one last farewell fight.
Most likely it will be in his home country in front of 100 thousand or so screaming fans. And then he will call it a day.
That's why every fight from here on out should be a must-see bout. I don't think Manny will be coming back once he's gone.