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Piers Morgan takes on Manny Pacquiao; would Howard Stern?

November 12, 2011 |  9:38 pm

Piers Morgan, Manny Pacquiao and Howard Stern

As Piers Morgan exits his role as judge on "America's Got Talent" to focus on his other show, "Piers Morgan Tonight," will Howard Stern enter?

And while we're looking at that, ponder this: If Stern were to step into the CNN's host's prime-time shoes, would he also be as eager as Morgan was to enter the boxing ring with, say, Manny Pacquiao?

Word is negotiations are underway to bring Stern and his attitude, and perhaps his loyal fan base, to the "AGT" judging table, where Morgan has in the past been called a prig. Stern, on the other hand, over the years has been called a pig. Ah, nuance.

Now, Stern has had a number of professional fighters on his show, including Leon Spinks, Lennox Lewis, Vinny Pazienza, Boom Boom Mancini and, in 2009, Joe Frazier.  But Morgan actually got in the ring with Pacquiao ahead of the welterweight's Saturday match against Juan Manuel Marquez.

In a bit that aired Friday, Morgan let his fists fly against a sparring partner, then changed his tactics once Pacquiao stepped in the ring. At that point, the TV host was brave enough to land a punch somewhere around one of the boxing legend's gloves, and then promptly declare victory.

However, during a quiet sit-down outside the ring, the "prig" had also delved into the boxer's political career in the Philippines.

"Being a public servant is a serious job," Pacquiao said. "You're taking care of the problems of those people who are needing your help."

Stern has had his share of serious interviews, of course -- Lady Gaga gave him a highly detailed, 90-minute interview in July. As Entertainment Weekly noted: "Stern was in his usual irreverent form, asking trademark questions about Gaga's sexual history (which we can't print here...)" 

Stern could be just the wild, offbeat ingredient the talent show needs. Or maybe not. But what's for certain is, if it works out, he'll likely be taking home a lot less than he has during his five-plus years with Sirius XM, where his contract promised him in the hundreds of millions.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that joining "AGT" judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel could net Stern a mere $15 million a year.


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 -- Amy Hubbard

Photos: Piers Morgan, left, Manny Pacquiao and Howard Stern. Credits: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images, left; Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images, center; Evan Agostini, Associated Press, right