BRIAN McINTYRE, trainer of two-weight world champion Terence Crawford, has thrown down the gauntlet to Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.
Crawford will defend his WBO and WBC super-lightweight titles against John Molina this weekend, though there has been speculation that he could be match with promotional stablemate Pacquiao next year.
However, McIntyre feels Pacquiao and his team are doing their best to avoid a fight with unbeaten Crawford, who is quickly becoming one of the best boxers around today.
“We keep hearing about a future fight with Manny Pacquiao but there doesn’t seem to be much interest from his team, especially since Freddie Roach got a good look at Terence from [Viktor] Postol’s corner,” he said of Crawford’s dominant win over Postol earlier in the year.
“What they need to do – [Michael] Koncz, Roach and Manny — is to hold hands and pray and ask for divine intervention directing them to a fight with Terence.”
Despite his talent, Crawford is still not yet a crossover star though certainly carries a lot of respect in the boxing fraternity.
A fight with Pacquiao – one of the sport’s leading lights over the past decade – would massively enhance his profile, particularly if he were to win. For McIntyre, it is similar to a situation earlier in Manny’s career when he upset the odds to defeat the much bigger Oscar De La Hoya.
“Oscar was man enough to accept Manny’s challenge,” he continued. “It’s part of the cycle of life in boxing. Handing off the torch to the successor. Manny should be man enough to do the same thing.
“There is no excuse. Manny and Freddie say Manny walks around at 140lbs. Both are world champions. Both are Top 10 pound for pound fighters. It’s a natural. But it takes two to make a fight. Terence only lacks the opportunity to take over the spot that Manny and Floyd Mayweather used to hold as the pound for pound star of the sport.”
When assessing Pacquiao as a fighter, McIntyre paid respect to the multi-weight world champion though highlighted the chinks he believes exist in the 37-year-old’s armour.
“Manny is a great fighter but he is limited. Manny is a machine and to beat him you need to offset him. Once an envelope gets stuck in a sorter it jams. That’s what Terence will do to Manny. Offset him. Because once Manny is offset, he cannot adapt.”