Making the Rounds: Pacquiao in holding pattern; Casimero waiting on Inoue

Kevin Iole
·Combat columnist
·5 min read
A weekly look at boxing's hottest topics.
A weekly look at boxing's hottest topics.

Manny Pacquiao had hoped to use the momentum from his impressive victory over Keith Thurman last July in Las Vegas as a springboard to another mega-fight in the welterweight division.

But with the coronavirus pandemic still raging, Pacquiao is idled and there have been no talks about his next fight, the president of Pacquiao’s promotional company told Yahoo Sports.

MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons said the Filipino senator “is just working out in his backyard and not looking at any fights.”

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told PhilBoxing.com that he’d spoken to Pacquiao about his interest in a fight with WBO champion Terence Crawford, and said he had hoped to do that later this year.

Gibbons said there were no talks about a Pacquiao-Crawford fight, as far as he knows. Top Rank president Todd duBoef told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday that nothing is happening.

“This is a weird time, obviously, and how do you propose anything with those big fights when you are looking at zero gate revenue,” duBoef said. “Those bigger fights, unless someone from the Middle East or somewhere in Asia came up with a huge offer out of the blue, I think are going to be difficult to make at this point. We’re just concerned with getting boxing back in the U.S., and there is nothing I know of at this point [going on with Pacquiao and Crawford].”

Gibbons said Pacquiao is working on solutions for Filipinos affected by the coronavirus and is working out but not seriously training for a fight.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 20:  Manny Pacquiao gets ready for the start of his WBA welterweight title fight against Keith Thurman at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Manny Pacquiao likely won't return to the ring until late 2020. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

He said there had been significant interest in bringing Pacquiao to the Middle East before the coronavirus pandemic erupted, and that it would be more likely that Pacquiao fights next there rather than in the U.S.

“The situation this world is in is very fluid right now and things are changing daily, weekly and monthly,” Gibbons said. “I haven’t seen anybody having fights with large amounts of fans yet and I don’t know really know how to move forward at this point with what is going on. I think those discussions will begin in the next month or so if things continue to improve. ...

“So as things get better over the next month, if the Senator was going to target any time, I believe it would be November, December when he’d be looking to get back into the ring somewhere. I think the U.S. is a difficult proposition right now given the circumstances and all that has happened. I don’t rule anything out yet. It’s just so early considering the situation in the world.”

Casimero holding out for ‘The Monster’

Gibbons said that John Riel Casimero, the WBO bantamweight champion whose April 25 unification bout with IBF-WBA champion Naoya Inoue was postponed, is in Las Vegas training, hoping to reschedule the fight with “The Monster.”

Inoue is in his native Japan. Gibbons said he talked to Arum and Akihiko Honda, Inoue’s co-promoters, about rescheduling the fight. Once Inoue can get out of Japan, the fight will be made, Gibbons said.

“I had a couple of conversations last week with Mr. Bob and Mr. Honda and I hate to oversimplify it, but I think it’s a matter of our U.S. Embassy reopening in Japan,” Gibbons said. “When our embassy opens, there’s no issue with him [Inoue] getting an appointment and going in and getting his visa stamped.”

Gibbons has vowed that Casimero would defeat Inoue, who is one of the sport’s bright stars and is ranked fifth on the Yahoo Sports pound-for-pound list.

“John Riel is here [in Las Vegas] working and getting himself ready,” Gibbons said. “He’s definitely going Monster hunting. That’s the fight we want and it’s the fight we’ll take.”

No fight for Broner? No problem.

Adrien Broner is obviously oblivious to what is going on in the world. The former world champion recently said in an Instagram rant that he won’t fight unless he gets paid $10 million.

One of boxing’s problems has been dramatically overpaid fighters like Broner, who in no way is deserving of a $10 million check. He’s 0-2-1 in his last three fights and hasn’t won a bout since edging Adrian Granados on Feb. 18, 2017. Subsequently, he was drubbed by Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia, and drew with Jessie Vargas in a bout most felt Vargas had won.

Broner said he’ll concentrate on his rap career if he doesn’t get that $10 million purse.

Broner’s days of getting anywhere near $10 million for a single fight are long past, but this being boxing, never say never.

Top Rank eyes late 2020 for Fury-Wilder 3

DuBoef told Yahoo Sports that the plan at the moment is to stage the third bout between WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former champion Deontay Wilder sometime later this year.

There had been talk of paying Wilder step-aside money so that Fury could go straight into a bout with IBF-WBA-WBO champion Anthony Joshua.

But that didn’t work and representatives of Fury and Wilder are working to get Wilder’s contractually obligated rematch finalized.

He said it

Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte, to SkySports:

“[Fury] is the one who came out and said he beat me up in the gym and stuff like that. I can tell you now, that didn't happen. I don't like telling sparring stories, but people in the game know. They know about me. Well, me and Tyson Fury sparred and I bashed him about and dropped him on multiple occasions. Simple as that.”

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