When will Manny Pacquiao fight again, and will Freddie Roach still be in his corner?

Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Boxing

The possibility of Manny Pacquiao fighting April 14 in Las Vegas is looking increasingly doubtful and is expected to be officially clarified this week.

In addition to the matter of when he'll fight again, there's also some question about who'll be in his corner.

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's longtime trainer who's been alongside the seven-division world champion since 2001, was sitting ringside at Saturday night's "SuperFly 2" card at the Forum and said he's uncertain when the 39-year-old Pacquiao will fight next.

"I usually leave him alone until I hear from him, but I've called him five times and haven't heard back," Roach told The Times. "Maybe he changed his number. ... "

The top two officials at Pacquiao's promotional company, Top Rank, told The Times two weeks ago the plan was to move Pacquiao's tentatively scheduled return bout from Madison Square Garden to Mandalay Bay on April 14.

But amid a serious backlash about the quality of Pacquiao's opponent, former 140-pound champion Mike Alvarado, Top Rank President Todd duBoef told The Times on Monday that "we're working through a bunch of stuff now, putting stuff together," and declined to comment beyond that.

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Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum clarified that unbeaten Terence Crawford, the former junior-welterweight champion, will "absolutely" be fighting World Boxing Organization champion Jeff Horn of Australia on April 14 at Mandalay Bay in a fight to be broadcast on ESPN.

Asked about Pacquiao, Arum said, "We're going to have an announcement in the next couple days. I can't talk about it."

Pacquiao's loyalty to Roach has been unquestioned for years -- and could very well remain strong -- but Arum and Pacquiao manager Michael Koncz criticized the veteran cornerman for not being more assertive with referee Mark Nelson in July when Horn roughed up Pacquiao en route to a controversial unanimous-decision victory over Pacquiao in Australia.

And there have been rumors in the Philippines that Pacquiao would consider promoting Buboy Fernandez, his best friend and assistant cornerman.


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