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Who Won the Weekend, The NYF Edition

Michael Woods

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Did Manny Pacquiao win the weekend…or maybe you think that Teofimo Lopez snagged top honors?

I put it to the NYF staff, asking them who they think took the top honors from Friday-Saturday-Sunday’s slate…

“It was a busy fight weekend and for me, who won the weekend was Manny Pacquiao,” said Johnny Wilds, ace oddsman. “It had been nine years since he scored a KO and over a year since we last saw him losing a contested decision to Jeff Horn. There has been some talk that Lucas Matthysse wasn’t himself or past it etc. I feel it was Manny who dictated the fight and his demise. It was nice seeing Manny back in the ring even if it wasn’t the PacMan we once saw per se.”

Our man Tom Penney has another nomination…

“Top Rank won this weekend,” Penney said. “Pacquiao’s technical knockout win over Matthysse sets Top Rank up with several big opportunities for their two most highly regarded fighters, those being Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford. Will we see Pacquiao in some sort of catchweight bout with Lomachenko? It would make sense for both sides. Pacquiao still needs the cash, and Lomachenko still needs high-profile heads to hang on his mantle as he seeks to prove the claim Arum has put forth, that Lomachenko is the best fighter of his generation. The fight would prove very little, as Pac Man is only a shell of the fighter he once was, but it would do a lot for Lomachenko’s popularity in the mainstream. Or, will Pacquiao be offered up to the new champion on the welterweight scene? Terence Crawford was last scene butchering Jeff Horn and now seems poised to start taking down other title holders at 147. However, like Lomachenko, Crawford could use a popularity boost before he takes on the likes of Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman. For Manny, this fight presents infinitely more danger, as Crawford is more of a classic shark than is Lomachenko, but it may come down to what weight Lomachenko is willing to move up to. There is one final option, one that I abhor as a fan of the sport. Pacquiao’s camp is rumoured to be trying to lure Floyd Mayweather back into the ring for a rematch of their fight from 2015. A fight in which Pacquiao was thoroughly outclassed. Surely there would be a lot of money to be made, and neither fighter would be in much danger, but my God. I would rather watch drying paint fight growing grass.”

Hey, David Phillips, who do you think won the weekend? “Whoever gets to fight Manny next. Someone’s going to get a huge payday because Manny looked good against a guy going into full fade.”

Abe Gonzalez, who gets your nod, in Who Won the Weekend? “Teofimo Lopez clearly won the weekend. He somehow was able to land a Ryu from Street Fighter type of punch in a boxing match while beating an opponent easily that went the distance with a then high prospect Felix Verdejo. This was after suffering a broken hand in the first round. After finishing his opponent, he proceeded to execute the trendy Fortnite dance while finishing with his signature back flip. After all of this, a clear and loud ROAR was given by the crowd for his efforts both during and after the fight. It almost felt like the crowd was on the verge of screaming “Spaniard..Spaniard”..as they did for Russell Crowe in Gladiator!”

Kelsey McCarson, Big Mac, what say you? “ESPN+ won the weekend because their last minute addition of Pacquiao-Matthysse for sure gave them a bump in at least potential subscribers from all the people who signed up for the free trial just to see that fight.”

Gat, youse? “I’m going with Buboy Fernandez,” John Gatling told me. “This past weekend may have launched the beginning of a new legend, one now “in training” for a new generation of fighters courtesy of his childhood buddy turned Filipino icon. The amiable-but-all-business chubby cornerman could prove to be what Freddie Roach molded, just as he was cast in clay by Eddie Futch.”

And last but no means by least, soccer scribe Colin Morrison also weighed in: “I’ll go with South African flyweight Moruti “Babyface” Mthalane. The 35-year-old career flyweight (debut 2000) won the vacant IBF flyweight title via UD against his confident opponent Muhammad Waseem. An entertaining scrap unfolded and “Babyface” was forced to work hard for the duration, getting off the floor in the 11th round to show his younger foe how much he wanted it. This fight kicked off the televised portion of the Matthysse-Pacquiao card and set the tone for the remaining fights we witnessed from Malaysia. It was good stuff all the way so anyone who sat down to watch the entire broadcast can also consider themself a winner this weekend.”

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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