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Pacquiao urged to fight in lighter class

Manny Pacquiao

by Nick Giongco

As his opponents not only got bigger but stronger and tougher the past five years, Manny Pacquiao has found it extremely difficult to get what his fans came to see: a knockout.

Counting Pacquiao’s recent victory—a clear-cut decision over Tim Bradley in Las Vegas last month—the Filipino fighter hasn’t scored a knockout win since stopping Miguel Cotto in Nov. 2009.

Pacquiao’s adviser, Canadian Mike Koncz, believes it is high-time for Pacquiao to leave the welterweight division (147 lbs) and reside once more at super-lightweight (140 lbs).

“That’s his ideal weight and should he fight there again, the knockouts will come,” said Koncz from Los Angeles yesterday.

It was at 140 lbs where Pacquiao scored one of boxing’s most chilling endings: the second-round smackdown of Ricky Hatton in May, 2009.

Koncz said he has raised the issue with the 35-year-old Pacquiao, who has labored against heftier foes in Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley and even bulked-up lightweight Brandon Rios.

Even Pacquiao admits that he is “small for a welterweight” and that his perfect weight is at 140 lbs and “his opponents are getting used to his power,” noted Koncz.

Koncz said there are attractive names at 140 lbs should Pacquiao decide to campaign there.

Besides “the fans are beginning to get tired of seeing Manny fight the same old names,” according to Koncz.

Pacquiao is slated to return to the ring sometime in November and being groomed to face him is the winner of the May 17 battle between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado.

“We’d know by the end of May what’s going to be like for Manny this year,” said Koncz.