Manny Pacquiao = Lindsay Lohan?

Manny Pacquiao’s got weight issues. Or, at least, his trainer Freddie Roach does. The way Pacquiao and his team have been talking about his poundage in advance of his Dec. 6 welterweight (147 lbs.) bout with Oscar De La Hoya is wildly inconsistent, as if his own waistline was as unpredictable as Lindsay Lohan’s or Janet Jackson’s.

By the numbers:

140 pounds — This is Pacquiao’s best fighting weight, according to Roach. He just said it in the Boxing Herald this week. Like so: “Manny’s best fighting weight is at 140lbs.”

142-144 pounds — And yet, even though Manny’s best fighting weight is at 140 lbs., Manny’s going to come in a little under the welterweight limit for his fight with De La Hoya. This is what they’ve said from day one. (And if he Floyd Mayweather comes out of retirement for some reason, this is the catchweight they’ll say the fight should be at. The only reason they’re agreeing to fight De La Hoya at welterweight is because of “the opportunity,” as if Mayweather wouldn’t demand the fight be at 147. OK.) They’ve said it a bunch. Last week, even. “That’s a good fighting weight for him,” Roach said. “He still has his speed and power.”

145-147 pounds — Except for, you know, when they’ve said something completely different. About two weeks ago, Roach told that Manny wouldn’t come into the ring at 142-144. “That’s what
I thought we’d do at first,” Roach said. “Originally, I wanted him to
come in as a junior welterweight, but judging from the power he’s
hitting with right now and his speed at this weight [152], I changed my
mind. I talked to his nutritionist about it and he agreed with me that
it would be better if we bring him down to 147 and maintain that weight
the whole time, so he can eat well right up to the fight.” Get that? Two weeks ago, Roach thought “at first” that Manny would come in between 142-144 for De La Hoya, then changed his mind and decided he would come in at 147, but the week after that he said 142-144 is his best weight.

Oh, and that whole “140 is Manny’s best fighting weight” talk? Manny isn’t hearing it. Asked nearly three weeks ago about whether he’d ever fight old rival Juan Manuel Marquez again, Manny said: “I would fight Juan Manuel anytime if the negotiations are okay with my
promoter Bob Arum and if he is willing to fight me at 145 or 147
pounds–because I plan to stay at that weight.” And what weight is he gonna be on fight night against De La Hoya? “My weight as of today is 152 pounds,” said Pacquiao. “I want to be at
146 pounds, but I still have some more work to do.”

160 pounds — The weight of sparring partners Pacquiao is reportedly “demolishing,” according to the Boxing Herald’s paraphrase of Roach. Maybe Kelly Pavlik’s comeback fight at middleweight can be against Pacquiao! No, bad idea. Pavlik would probably get “sent packing.”

140. 142. 144. 145. 146. 147. Fight night. Future fights. You know, it could just be that nobody’s decided anything. It could be that all these interviews happened at completely different times than when they were published, and if you lined up the actual interviews in the order of the date they happened, it would make for a coherent evolution. Or it could be a bit of gamesmanship from Roach’s team, trying to throw off De La Hoya and his camp. Whatever the motive, it’s freakin’ wacky, and worth noting.

Poll: Which of the two Manny Pacquiao pictures below most resembles his likely weight on Dec. 6?


About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.