By Chris Williams: date July 31st, 2015
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Top Rank promoter Bob Arum surprised a lot of people this week when he said that his No.1 money fighter Manny Pacquiao could be back before the end of 2015 to resume fighting once again.
This was surprising because Pacquiao suffered a partial tear of his right rotator cuff, and injury of that severity takes time to come back from following surgery. Pacquiao’s surgery on his shoulder was last May, so asking him to come back just six to seven months after the injury is both risky and crazy.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz is saying that there’s no way that he’ll be coming back in 2015. Koncz believes that Pacquiao won’t be back until the early part of 2016, in February or March at best.
“It’ll be next year, late February or March,” Koncz said via mb.com. “We have actually sent videos of Manny’s activities to his doctors in U.S.”
Even that timeline is very ambitious for a person with a shoulder injury as bad as Pacquiao. If he’s able to come back that early from the surgery, then it makes you wonder how bad the injury was. There are already a lot of conspiracy critics who never believed that Pacquiao’s right shoulder was injured in the first place.
They just think that the injury excuse was something that was used to give Pacquiao an excuse for why he was dominated by Mayweather. They think that the injury excuse was used to help Pacquiao get a rematch with Mayweather another big payday. By saying he was injured, Pacquiao didn’t take the huge amount of criticism that he otherwise would have taken if he was beaten flat out and shown to be not good enough, which is pretty much what happened.
I don’t know what to believe. I do know that I’ve never seen an athlete come back from a torn rotator cuff after only seven months. I’ve not even seen an athlete come back from an injury like that in 9-10 months. Coming back from a rotator cuff injury is a tricky thing that can take a year sometimes longer. If Pacquiao can beat the odds by coming back faster than normal than more power to him, but I know it’s going to case a lot of boxing fans to suspect that he was never injured in the first place.
When Pacquiao does come back, it’s going to be really interesting to see who he winds up fighting. Will it be someone that his promoter Bob Arum wants him to fight, or will it be someone that Pacquiao wants? Arum seems to want Pacquiao to fight Terence Crawford. I think Arum needs Pacquiao to fight Crawford before he retires so that he can help turn him into a star.
By Pacquiao sacrificing himself for the good of Top Rank, he can make Crawford a star. If this was four years earlier, I think Pacquiao would beat Crawford. But as old as Pacquiao is now, Crawford probably beats him and then becomes a star after doing a job on him. It’s a good fight for Crawford and Top Rank, but probably not a good fight for Pacquiao right now.
The PPV buys that he’ll get for a Crawford fight will be minimal, and not even worth him taking the fight. Pacquiao would probably get more PPV buys fighting the likes of Brandon Rios, Tim Bradley or Chris Algieri again than fighting Crawford. Unless Arum is willing to let Pacquiao fight someone outside of his Top Rank stable, which I seriously doubt, we’ll be seeing Pacquiao fight Crawford next in February or March of next year.