The rest of America has been complaining about this for years now, but world class trainer Freddie Roach appears to have finally gotten the memo – Manny Pacquiao needs some legitimate competition to fight against.
One of the great tragedies of modern boxing is that it seems as though every time a historically excellent boxer in his prime rises, there is no one out there to challenge him. His competitors are either too young and inexperienced, or too old and worn down. Either unworthy of a title shot, or too far along to have any semblance of a real chance at capturing it.
And that’s precisely what’s happened with Pacquiao. As he has steadily improved in terms of his fighting style and efficiency, the amount of competition out there for him to hone his skills against has seemingly decreased to basically zilch.
It’s a waste of talent, really.
Finally, in an interview with the Philippine Star, Roach has taken to addressing the elephant in the room – there is nobody out there to challenge his boy. Nobody except arch rival that is, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"Obviously, everyone wants Mayweather. Of course, we're all getting a little tired of hearing his name because he doesn't want to fight Manny. But hopefully, that fight will happen," Roach said. "It could be the last three fights for Manny, if the fight goes as we see it because they're both very, very good fighters.”
So a dream fight with Mayweather would be ideal, dually noted. But how about something a bit more realistic? Perhaps against a fighter that doesn’t evoke feelings of deep-seeded hatred amongst Pacquiao and all his supporters?
Apparently, there is viable option in that regard too: Amir Khan. But is the prospect of that showdown any more realistic than Pacquiao vs. Mayweather?
If you buy what Roach is selling – not really.
"My two fighters are really friendly with each other. I don't think they'll ever fight but the thing is, we're running out of opponents and you can never say never in this game," Roach said.
Not exactly the story Roach has been peddling recently, but alright.
So where does that leave us, the boxing aficionados that have lined the pockets of Pacquiao and his stable for years with our hard-earned money? The ones that continue to support his PPVs even when his counterparts in the sport aren't generating anywhere near the same amount of love?
Well, we’re back to square one. There are limited options out there for the Filipino champion to square off against, and he seems content not seeking out those options. He and his team seem comfortable enough in what they’ve accomplished to not chase fights – any fights.
Good for them and bad for us.
Think positively, though. Maybe Sergio Martinez will come down to 147 pounds (he won’t) and then everyone will win (except him).