Manny Pacquiao: Is It Time For Him To Move Up In Weight?

27.11.06 - By Onur Tezucar: After watching Juan Manuel Marquez systematically break down Pilipino Jimrex Jaca, a fighter who I personally consider to be a poor man’s Pacquiao, a question arose in my head that I feel deserves more attention, namely, is it time that Manny Pacquiao move up in weight-class? To me, the answer unequivocally is, yes. Marquez, though, impressive, looked a step slower, while sustaining too much punishment from Jaca, who is slower and lighter punching than Pacman.

With the weight issues of Morales receiving large amounts of publicity, something that may have flown under the radar a bit is Pacquiao’s own weight struggles. Something tat many people failed to notice, however, is that Pacquiao weighed in at 144 lbs the day of the rubber match with Morales, which tells me there was a great deal of re-hydration occurring after the weight in. In comparison, at 33, a totally filled out Juan Manuel Marquez was a mere 136 lbs on the night of his fight with Jaca, last Saturday night.

In spring of 2007, the weight variable should be similar, putting Pacquiao almost two weight classes above Marquez on fight night, rendering Pacman far too physically imposing for the aging reflex challenged Marquez to handle in the present day.

Two years ago, Pacquiao’s right hand was virtually non existent. Whereas, presently not only is the right a serious weapon, but counter punching utilizing the right has made Pacman more a complete fighter. What a difference two years make. This fight, Marquez vs. Pacquiao, would not be competitive this time around, at least from my perspective.

The most despicable match-up that continually is brought up in conversation is Pacquiao vs. Barrera. I don’t understand the concept of an aging Marco Antonio Barrera miraculously avenging a defeat in which he was knocked down twice while virtually losing every round, against a younger fighter who is bigger, stronger, faster and more technically polished then two years ago.

It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Now allow me to paint a different picture. Get your riot gear ready because it’s Brazil vs. Philippines, Acelino Freitas vs. Manny Pacquiao. Freitas, relatively fresh at 31 has been hinting towards coming out of retirement, is a rock star in his native count, as is Pacquiao. Freitas is a dynamic straight ahead, all action power puncher, as is Pacquiao. Freitas weighs about 145 lbs on fight night, as does Pacquiao. This fight would produce a tremendous amount of pay-per-view buys, while providing the peaking Pacquiao the challenge he needs.

The potential money put on the Brazilians table surely could lure him back into the ring, this uniting two fanatical nations, supporting their respected fighters, in an event of epic portions. Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo and Joel Casamayor are some other names that fight close to Pacquiao’s fight night weight and are far more explosive pay-per-view match-ups than Marquez or Barrera.

The bottom-line is this: Erik Morales for the past two years was looked at as one of the largest imposing Junior Lightweights in the business, with his size being the main distinct advantage in many of his fights. In his final bout against Pacquiao, Manny looked and literally was for the first time the bigger fighter, at 144 lbs compared to Morales, who weighed in at 139 lbs on fight night.

It was something very visually evident, as I looked at both fighters. If Manny can continue to progress at heavier weights, why not fathom huge pay day fights at higher weight classes while satisfying fans as well. After all, aren’t situations like this what made Sugar Ray Robinson legendary for fighting a heavier Jake Lamotta, or Evander Holyfield seeking new challenges by stepping up from Cruiserweight to very undersized Heavyweight?

From the way I see it, it’s moves like this that can define a fighter’s career and raise their profiles from great to legendary.

Article posted on 27.11.2006

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