THIS SUNDAY, Manny Pacquiao fights again against Argentinian Lucas Matthysse to regain the WBA regular welterweight title in Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Since his recent defeat to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane last year, Pacquiao’s boxing management made radical changes.
In April, the 16-year working partnership with Coach Freddie Roach ended, together with veteran promoter Bob Arum. Instead, his long-time friend Buboy Fernandez becomes the trainee.
Now as a free agent, Pacquiao’s team, spearheaded by Arnold Vegafria, the head of sales and marketing of MP Promotions, has the freedom to decide who his next opponent will be and what networks will cover.
This upcoming bout will be shown both on Sky Cable and Cignal on pay-per-view and the Big 3 by delayed telecast (the last time happened on May 2015). The 5 Network originally reported that they won’t air, despite their exclusive cable channel’s participation, as they acquired Top Rank Boxing (Pacman’s former promoter company) as part of the ESPN 5 package since December. Solar Sports, the long-time partner of his previous bouts, is out of the question.
While Arum objected, Pacquiao and few of his rivals didn’t matter. But how the people would respond to the hype on the post-Top Rank bout?
From the Turf‘s perspective, this sporting hype seems might be lower (although, Pacman fans would say otherwise), given the internal factors of Pacquiao: age (He is 39 while his adversary is 35) and political stance (no explanation necessary) but the major factor is his schedule availability.
Historically, Pacquiao’s fights fell either usually on May or November — but in this case, this fight sets on July, just before Congress convenes on the 3rd regular (the final and the shortest) session.
That said nevertheless, no matter what the results from the Compubox will be on Sunday, the winners will still be the networks with their shared, implied advertising revenue.
If you asked about when will he hang up the gloves and pass the banner of boxing to the young blood (particularly, Jerwin Ancajas), that will be Pacquiao’s answer but let’s not fret with blunt, Carabao English responses.
Photo courtesy of boxingnews24.com