By Pierre Grimm
After his triumphant decision victory over Andre Berto on April 16, the newly crowned WBC welterweight champ, Vicious Victor Ortiz, thanked Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach for their pre-fight advice during his post fight interview with HBO’s Larry Merchant. Pacquiao, although friends with Ortiz, is now a possible opponent for the WBC champion.
Manny and Victor have sparred in the past, some people who have witnessed the sparring sessions said they got so heated that Freddie Roach had to pull Ortiz out so he wouldn’t hurt Manny.
The sparring sessions were back when Manny was fighting at 130-pounds and Victor Ortiz was fighting at 140-pounds but according to trainer Freddie Roach, Ortiz was big around 155 pounds when he sparred Manny. Roach’s advice to Victor Ortiz at the time was for him to move up to 147-pounds where he would be stronger from not having to drain himself to 140.
The question is if Manny Pacquiao beats Shane Mosley on May 7th (which should happen, unless, Mosley lands a lucky shot) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn’t want to fight anymore, does Manny Pacquiao fight a young hungry fighter like Victor Ortiz to unify the WBO and WBC belts?
I have a strong feeling that because Ortiz is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Manny is promoted by Bob Arum and Top Rank, the fight probably won’t happen. Golden Boy and Top Rank are not on good terms and Arum has stated many times that he doesn’t want to do business with Oscar De La Hoya over some negative things he said about Manny Pacquiao that Arum feels were disrespectful and demeaning.
I’ve been very critical of Manny’s choice of opposition lately, and I feel that Manny Pacquiao is a very exciting and talented fighter but he isn’t fighting fighters that will give him a real challenge and solidify his greatness at 147-pounds. I’ve said it before that I am going to boycott the Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight because I don’t believe Mosley is a worthy opponent, even if Mosley gives a good fight there are guys who are ranked higher and more worthy than him.
If Manny wants to make a statement now is the time! After the Mosley fight he should step up to the plate and tell Bob Arum that he wants to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. first, but if that fight doesn’t happen he should ask to fight Victor Ortiz and unify the belts.
Pacquiao vs. Ortiz would be a pay-per-view worthy of the $55 dollar price tag, that would be a guaranteed action fight and a 50-50 pick-em fight, because if the sparring stories are true and Victor got the better of Manny during sparring, it should make for a great and competitive bout, but if Manny chooses to fight another washed up fighter or weak opponent that Bob Arum throws in at him, Manny will lose respect with the boxing fans and his legacy will remain questionable.
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