Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) will make his return to the boxing ring against WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) on November 5th at the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, NV. For many, this is considered a high level tune up fight for something bigger on the horizon. And although the one fight that Pacquiao would like is a rematch with the still-retired Floyd Mayweather, the Filipino’s longtime trainer Freddie Roach has his sights set on someone else.
And that someone is Mexican sensation Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
In the wake of Mayweather-Pacquiao, Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) has become boxing’s biggest box office attraction. The redheaded Mexican’s good looks and heavy hands have helped him carry the sport’s mainstream relevance on his back with Mayweather riding off into the sunset. And while negotiations for a massive fight between Alvarez and knockout sensation Gennady Golovkin have stalled to the point where there is concern about the two squaring off next September, there is a willing participant who could possibly be the other half of a huge pay per view fight.
And not only does Roach want to put Pacquiao in the ring with Alvarez, he thinks he wouldn’t have any problem defeating Canelo.
“I think Manny can outbox him,” Roach said. “I think (Canelo) is a good puncher but Amir Khan beat him for the first five rounds and then Canelo finally caught him. Manny is better than that.”
Roach is referencing Canelo’s highlight reel knockout of Amir Khan back in May. It was a fight where Alvarez had a huge size advantage against Khan, who moved up in weight to face the Mexican. That size disparity would be even greater against Pacquiao as it is well known that the eight-division world champion’s ideal weight is between 140 and 147 pounds. Canelo – who is campaigning at junior middleweight (154) on his way to middleweight (160) is known to blow up to as much as 185 pounds on fight night. But Roach sees no problem putting the living legend in there with Canelo…as long as there is one exception.
“I think you have to put a cap on what Canelo can gain after the weigh in because he gets very big and gains 30 pounds,” Roach said. “You have to keep the fight within a certain range to be fair.”
Assuming that Pacquiao gets past Vargas on November 5th, could we possibly looking at a Pacquiao-Canelo fight in 2017?