THE SENATOR IS NO SLAYER. Ship has sailed, the 2009 version is gone, he's sailed on, sailor. Pacman the fast and furious is Manny the medium speed smart-boxer, who, like Doug Fischer said, actually fights for about 40 seconds a fight. Look for Freddie Roach to finally ditch the “kayo is coming” pre fight hype, because this version is less Pacmaniac, and more moderated a technician.

BUT HE IS STILL A TOP TEN POUND FOR POUNDER, MAYBE TOP 5. This diminished Manny had his way with a young gun, who, I think it plays out, has shown the best and brightest of himself and is what he is. Yeah, Jessie Vargas is a solid B guy. But Manny is A grade, at almost 38, though like some savvy MLBers, he's gone from being a flame thrower, make your knees quake rat a tat cat, to using a “smarter not harder” method that piles up winning rounds, by staying focused and not getting careless. All told, Manny was a notch better in beating Bradley in their third tango but he's still an ace in this pugilism sphere. Maybe this annoys you; I see no shortage of persons wishing Manny would move on, cede the stage to the next gen. But cmon. We know how this dynamic works. Boxers need the trap door to get them off the stage. Pacman still commands the stage like a boss.

THE W IS NICE BUT A FLOYD REMATCH, NO DICE. His people said before, they wanted and NEEDED a conclusive finish, an exclamation point pummeling of the WBO champ Vargas to get public momentum pumping to see a sequel to MayPac. No dice… There was more of an appetite among the Twitterati to book Pacquaio v Crawford next, over Pacquiao v Mayweather. Make no mistake, if Manny had steamrolled Vargas and used him up like a Clinton fan at a Trump rally, then that would have created a buzz in the building. Eyes and cameras would have been on Mayweather, sitting ringside not interacting with Brad Jacobs. The sequel talk would have been set into motion which was I think the point of bringing Floyd to the building. That will have to come by other means now.

STEPHEN A's FIRST TAKE AT BOXING COLOR WASN'T STELLAR, MAN. But it sucked far less than I thought. I give the bloviator a B, as he did ok prep, not blowing us away and proving he went above and beyond. That maybe helped him rein in his instinct to overwhelm with yapping. Instead, the ESPNer let Brian Kenny and Tim Bradley hold the floor. I confess I was surprised and amused that Smith several times challenged Bradley, getting in his face, to a degree I know the proud hitter was taken aback by and didn't dig. It was a refreshing break from the typical circle jerky mood in the booth, wherein disagreements are rare and in fact, welcomed. You didn't suck, Smith….

PPV TREND NOT PROMOTERS' FRIEND Will be interesting to see how this Top Rank production does. HBO preferred to spend money and energy on the Ward v Kovalev event and passed in this Pacstravaganza. TR did a fine job with the event but this is a new age. I talk to guys who ain't buying the boxing events anymore, and are saving up for Canelo v Golovkin, or have transferred main allegiance to MMA. Maybe a rough number needs to come in, to help the market reset. The PPV model certainly isn't helping widen eyeball interest. Duh. And the only way it leaves is through the “vote with your wallet” method. So maybe this promotion gets us more in that direction. I think it does maybe 220,000 buys.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.