For the last several years, the home for all things Pacquiao has been a website/community called Pacland. Even more so than the fighter's own official site, Pacland is the place to find out what's new with Manny Pacquiao and the colorful characters that comprise the 8-division world champ's personal circle of friends and associates. Also a powerful boxing news aggregator, the site has become one of the most visited boxing websites in the world, even though it bases much of its focus on Pacquiao and the rest of the Filipino fight scene.
After having recently changed its name, the site is now called "Pinoy Greats: The New Pacland," but even with a new tag and URL, it's still going strong and remains the heart, soul, and central nervous system of Manny Pacquiao fandom.
So, with a massive readership and loyal fans who gladly take an active role in speaking up when it comes to their idol, it's safe to say that when Pacland speaks, it not only speaks from the heart, but it's also pretty darn representative of what the typical Pacquiao fan may be thinking.
Currently on the homepage of The New Pacland, a poll is on display that gives visitors the impression that all may not be peachy among the rank and file of Manny's mega-loyal legion of fans.
As of Thursday evening, when asked a question regarding what they want Pacquiao to do next, about two-thirds (66.4%) of the 23,885 respondents voted that the Filipino legend should either pursue a bout with Floyd Mayweather or just retire.
To be precise, 47.8% of the voters opted for the Mayweather bout with 18.6% voting retirement as the right call to make.
Add in the 8.1% that simply voted, "I Don't Care," and you get nearly 75% of Manny's most loyal fans voting for Mayweather or the abyss. And for anyone at Top Rank Promotions who cares to look at such polls, the message is clear that 75% of their target audience just does not care for any of the options being lined up for Pacquiao.
Top Rank head honcho, Bob Arum, knows how to sell a fight and knows how to gradually win over a reluctant and skeptical fan base, but knowing that only 17.5% of the New Pacland want Pacquiao-Bradley II has to be disheartening. The controversial split decision loss and subsequent attempts to stoke the fires for a heated rematch have not produced the burning need for a part two. Obviously for Pacquiao fans (and most other knowledgeable observers), Manny won the first fight clearly and, therefore, there should be no need for a second chapter.
Eventually a Pacquiao fight will be made and it will likely be against Bradley. Per usual routine, a Mayweather bout will be mentioned frequently by Arum and company in the build-up to Pacquiao-Bradley II, but don't expect any real attempts at brokering a deal.
But maybe, this time, it's worth paying attention to the fans.
The folks at The New Pacland are clearly becoming disenchanted with the way their hero is being handled. And when more of them prefer that Manny retire rather than fight his proposed opponent, somebody should be paying attention.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The BoxingTribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.