With Floyd Mayweather’s recent retirement, there is only one proven PPV star left in boxing, that being Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao is looking to end his historic career on a high note and hopes to leave the sport not only with a win, but also a big PPV to help ensure it will be the final time he steps in the ring
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Virgil Hunter, I talk with him about a potential Amir Khan vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. Hunter speaks on the likelihood of the fight and how he thinks the two fighters match up. Virgil also talks about Amir Khan’s hard road to a big fight and why he thinks Khan gets put on the sidelines. Additionally, Hunter shares his views on Pacquiao saying it’s his last fight before he steps in the ring. Here is what Virgil Hunter had to say.
Jenna J: There’s a lot of talk that Amir Khan might get a fight with Manny Pacquiao. What have you heard about that fight and do you think it will actually happen?
Virgil Hunter: I haven’t heard no more than anybody else. I guess it’s always a good chance for him to have the fight, for his sake I hope he does get the fight, it’s a great fight for him. There are some other things attached to that, with Freddie and the coaching change, his sparring sessions.
I think it would be of great public interest. Right now, one day I see that it’s close and the next day I see that it’s closed. I have to keep rolling with it and if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t happen, you have to continue to move on. We’ll see how it turns out.
Jenna J: Why do you think Amir has been unable to land that real big fight so far at this point?
Virgil Hunter: Honestly, I can’t say why. There’s probably a number of reasons you can really say. When he’s focused and really mentally and physically ready to fight, he’s a tough out. I think his energy level in a Mayweather fight would definitely cause Floyd Mayweather some real problems, I know that for a fact.
With Amir’s familiarity of Pacquiao and this stage of their careers, I’m sure that he’s confident that he can give a good account of himself in that contest. I’ve seen the tapes of him and Pacquiao sparring and without going into it, it was nothing like Freddie said it was, for sure.
Amir would be a tough out for Manny Pacquiao and with his energy level and length and speed, if he brought all these things together with great focus, there’s a danger that Pacquiao could lose, and lose convincingly. From a fighter stand point, I think that’s the reason why. From a political standpoint, I have no idea. Hopefully he gets it.
Jenna J: With all of the improvements Khan has made with you, how do you see a fight between him and Manny Pacquiao going?
Virgil Hunter: That’s a dangerous fight because they’re familiar with each other. Keeping that in mind, it’s not an easy fight for Amir Khan, but if he’s up for the challenge and he’s mentally prepared within himself, I think that we can put a solid plan together that he would emerge victorious and not just squeak by, but win a unanimous decision.
At the same time, you have Freddie who’s at the top of the food chain as a coach, he’s proven that and he knows Amir well also, so he can also come up with a game plan that would really put Amir with a predicament. I think that’s why it would be an exciting fight to put on, because you have different intangibles there.
There’s different things that could happen based on them knowing each other and both of them training under Roach. Roach knows his strengths, knows his weaknesses. Amir knows Manny’s strengths and knows his weaknesses, and I’m on the outside looking in. I think it would be a great fight with a lot attached to it.
Jenna J: Being the fact that Bob Arum announced that the next fight is Manny’s last fight, is that dangerous for Pacquiao to go into a fight knowing that it’s his last fight?
Virgil Hunter: It depends on how he’s looking at it. If he’s looking to max out financially, I think it’s a great fight. If he’s concerned about going out with a bang and a knockout, it could change it up a little bit for Arum.
I don’t see how he could lose either way, it’s his last fight. His legacy is cemented, Manny Pacquiao is a legend and a Hall of Famer. One fight is not going to change that fact. He’s in the drivers seat as far as accomplishments in his career, he has no worries of anybody having a different outlook on his career or anything effecting him negatively where he belong in history, as far as boxing is concerned.
Pacquiao’s etched in stone and nothing can change that. I don’t think that would be a concern. I’m sure it has to be down to the money, about making the most money that he can make on his last fight.