Catchweight: What is it, and does it make sense for Pacquiao vs Algieri?
Boxing's welterweight limit is 147 lbs but, tonight, welterweights Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri will fight at a negotiated limit of 144 lbs.
Freddie Roach, trainer of Manny Pacquiao, recently told reporters at Pacman's Wild Card Gym that Pacquiao could very well be returning to the Junior Welterweight (140 lb) division after his 144 lb catchweight title fight with Chris Algieri this weekend.
Typically, the A-side fighter (in this case, Manny Pacquiao) will use their leverage to negotiate a catchweight if they believe it will give them an advantage.
Does it make sense tonight?
Manny Pacquiao has been actively fighting in the welterweight (147 lb) division since 2008 and last scored a knockout five years ago against Miguel Cotto as a welterweight. And yes, many have wondered where Pacquiao's punching power has gone, perhaps forgetting he is not a natural welterweight to start with.
According to Roach, tonight's catch weight is nothing more than a trial run to see how Pacquiao feels when fighting a few pounds lighter. If all goes well, we may see a return to Junior Welterweight.
"That's the only reason we're going to '44, that's our choice, not theirs," stated Roach.
"There's a lot of competition in the 140-pound division. "A lot of them are going to 147 because they want to fight Manny for the bigger money but as soon as Manny goes to 140 all of those [fighters] will come back down."
Roach added "He's never been a big puncher at 147."
"I don't think he's lost his punch or his killer instinct; he's just been fighting bigger, stronger guys. I think the knockouts will still start coming
again at 140."
While it's true that Pacquiao, as a welterweight, earned stoppages over Miguel Cotto and Oscar De La Hoya, the knockouts were primarily due accumulative punching instead of individual shots or blistering combinations.
Light welterweight (or jr welterweight) seems like a great fit for Manny who knocked out Rick Hatton in 2009 when he last fought in that division.
So who would Pacquiao face at 140lbs should he drop down?
The ideal opponent, according to Roach, would be unified Light Welterweight champion Danny Garcia.
But is Garcia a realistic possibility?
Al Haymon is known to protect his fighters and his relationship with Bob Arum is non-existent.
Other possible candidates would include Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov, and a fifth with Juan Manuel Marquez may be in the offing as well in the lower weight class.
Also, Mikey Garcia and Terrance Crawford, both of whom are under the Top Rank Banner, have expressed interest in moving up to Jr Welterweight. Crawford would be moving from 135, where he currently holds a title, and Garcia would be moving all the way from 130 pounds.
Pacquiao vs either guy would be intriguing.
Of course, all of this is mute if Pacquiao is upset by Algieri tonight or, somehow, the Floyd Mayweather deal gets done.
Is it a good idea for Manny Pacquiao to move back down to 140 lbs?