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Home » Manny Pacquiao coach torn over title shot, ‘I won’t be involved’

Manny Pacquiao coach torn over title shot, ‘I won’t be involved’

The possibility of Manny Pacquiao gaining a final shot at the welterweight championship has thrown up a conflict in the boxing legend’s camp.

Marvin Somodio, a long-time friend, compatriot, and coach of the Filipino superstar, has a vested interest in current WBA champion Eimantas Stanionis. As WBN broke the news first, Stanionis is one of two potential opponents for Pacquiao in a potential comeback for the 147-pound title. The other is Mario Barrios for the WBC version, which WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has already confirmed to WBN that he will consider if Pacquiao makes an official request.

If the “Pac-Man” goes down the WBA route, Somodio would have a problem as he also trains Stanionis.

Asked about Pacquiao’s bid to fight one more time for a recognized belt to break his own record of being the oldest welterweight champion in history by five whole years, Somodio exclusively told World Boxing News: “I didn’t know about it, but if Sean Gibbons said that then he’s working on it.

“It’s a very good opportunity for either Stanionis or Barrios if that’s going to happen. If Pacquiao vs Stanionis is going to happen it will be a good problem.

“I want Stanionis to have the biggest fight of his career as he is my first world champion, and he is very close to me. On the other hand, Manny Pacquiao is the reason why I made it to the US he gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. So if that fight is going to happen, I’m not going to be involved,” the former boxer confirmed.

Pacquiao facing either Stanionis or Barrios would be a massive event, most likely in Las Vegas towards the end of the summer or during the fall. It would be the swansong the eight-weight world titleholder deserves following the unwarranted ending the first time around.

The 45-year-old was due to contest the unified welterweight title against Errol Spence Jr. Had Pacquiao won, he’d have walked away a three-belt titleholder for the first time in his career. Spence pulled out injured as it transpired, and Yordenis Ugas replaced him. The Cuban then pulled off a shock and took Pacquiao’s WBA championship.

Since then, talk of a return to the pro ranks has been a permanent fixture on Pacquiao’s lips without actually coming to fruition. This time around, there’s a feeling the fight could happen, provided Pacquiao puts in his request to the WBC or the WBA soon.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.