Coming out of retirement to face the best pound for pound fighter of his generation doesn’t sound like a good idea does it? Well that is exactly what Freddie Roach wants Manny Pacquiao to do.
In a recent interview with Fight Hype the trainer floated the idea of Inoue moving up in weight to fight Pacquiao.
“I would like to see it. I think Pacquiao could still get ready for that.”
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) July 25, 2023
In the age of the super fight anything is possible. Boxers frequently take on mixed martial artists and social media stars so the idea of Pacquiao coming out of retirement to face Inoue doesn’t sound as nonsensical as it once would.
But while 15 years separates Inoue and Pacquiao the difference in weight is even greater. The Japanese fighter recently moved up to 122lbs for the first time and looked extremely impressive.
Inoue stopped Stephen Fulton in the eighth round. The American was the previously undefeated WBC and WBC super bantamweight champion but was totally outclassed by the Japanese star.
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While Inoue has been beating the best in the world at his weight Pacquiao only recently came out of retirement to participate in exhibition bouts. He went the distance with a Korean YouTuber called DK Yoo last December and is supposed to be taking on Muay Thai and kickboxing legend Buakaw Banchamek next year.
So Pacquiao would be taking a huge step up in terms of the quality of opposition. But the difference in weight between him and Inoue is also significant.
Pacquiao’s next fight will be 154lbs while Inoue’s last bout was at 122lbs. However Roach has a solution and thinks the Japanese fighter could move up several divisions in order to make the fight possible,
“He’d have to move up a little bit, 135.”
How Pacquiao would feel about being asked to lose 20lbs in order to take on the world’s best boxer we don’t know. He doesn’t appear to have worked with Roach since 2021 and has campaigned for the presidency in the Philippines since then.
The weight would be the single biggest obstacle but both men are basically the same height so Inoue could potentially bulk up in order to face Pacquiao. Could Freddie Roach be onto something here? Stranger fights have definitely been happening in boxing.