Manny Pacquiao, the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, is running scared of fighting unbeaten, light-middleweight Yuri Foreman.
After a bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr was scrapped, Foreman, Israel’s first world champion, was suggested as the Filipino's next opponent by promoter Bob Arum.
But Pacquiao’s camp fear that Foreman’s five and a half inch height advantage would make him an awkward opponent.
Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's US business manager said: “Manny’s concerned about Foreman”s height. We'll go through the entire [welterweight and junior welterweight] categories and see what we can come up with."
For Pacquiao, the draw of a match with Foreman, 29, was the chance to win a world title in a record eighth weight class. But that would also require him to go up in weight, to 154 pounds. That could make it difficult for him to cut down again if the multimillion-dollar fight with Mayweather ever materialises.
And unless Pacquiao has a change of mind, Foreman, who stands at 5” 11in, would miss out on his biggest ever payday.
Foreman said: "It's a real honour the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world doesn't want to fight me. Aside from winning the world title, this is the greatest compliment I've received in boxing.
“We would have liked [Pacquiao] but it didn’t work out,” Foreman’s publicist Dovid Efune said. “But we know that everything that God does has a purpose.”