Naoya Inoue “Probably Better Than Pacquiao,” Says Arum

By James Slater - 08/14/2023 - Comments

It can be funny how minds can work, even those belonging to the so-called experts of this sport of ours. Right now, in light of two sensational performances from a pair of modern day greats, in Naoya Inoue and Terence Crawford, plenty of people are asking questions: could Crawford beat a prime Floyd Mayweather, and is Inoue better than Manny Pacquiao?

One man who we all listen to when he gives his old-school opinion on something, this being Bob Arum, recently told Little Giant Boxing that, yes, in his opinion, “The Monster” is “probably” a better fighter than Pac Man.

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Not everyone will agree, of course:

“Inoue is a tremendous, tremendous fighter, like we’ve never seen before, maybe since Manny Pacquiao – probably better than Pacquiao was,” Arum said. “I think he has a chance to go all the way up, maybe even to junior-lightweight or lightweight…..not 140, he’s not a big guy.”

Arum recently poured some serious cold water on any and all talk of Inoue fighting Tank Davis any time soon, the Top Rank boss saying such talk is “makes no sense and is dumb.” But now, Arum may have had a change of heart at least a little, as he suggests Inoue – who started down at 108 pounds – might get to 135 one day.

That’s another story, another thing to wonder about. But is Inoue better than Pacquiao? Not yet, no way. Pacquiao was nothing short of phenomenal, as in once-in-a-lifetime phenomenal. Inoue still has time to add further glory to his career and list of achievements, but we must never expect the Japanese superstar to go on and conquer a truly jaw-dropping eight weight divisions the way Pac Man did.

But all any fighter can ever do is be the best of THEIR time, forget anyone else’s, and let’s forget about these kind of comparisons while we’re at it. Pacquiao is an all-time great. Inoue seems to be on his way to earning the same distinction. And that should be enough. More than enough.

Meanwhile, with Manny recently offering his services as far as “advising” and training Inoue, Arum says thanks but no thanks on Inoue’s behalf.

“I love Manny; Manny knows boxing, but what’s he gonna add to Inoue?” Arum asks. “Where is Inoue falling short where Pacquiao could help him?”

Indeed, Inoue has looked all but flawless in his recent fights. Is there any room for improvement?

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Last Updated on 08/14/2023