It’s February and Manny ‘Pac-Man’ Pacquiao has yet to announce his next fight and who that opponent will be.
The iconic Filipino fighter last fought in July of 2019 against WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman and became the oldest fighter to win a welterweight title at the age of 40.
Pacquiao is a full-time Senator in the Philippines and it was reported by the Manila Bulletin that he would return around March or April of 2020 when the Senate is in recess.
March would likely be out of the picture because they won’t have time for a press tour or a full training camp. April seems more likely or even May, that way Manny can get in a good 8 week camp and it gives the PBC time to promote and build up the fight.
The question people are wondering is, who is the opponent? Whoever wins the Pacquiao sweepstakes and is lucky enough to land the fight is going to make the biggest payday of his career and will have the chance to make history by dethroning a legend.
Pacquiao has many options since Al Haymon who he is aligned with has the majority of the top welterweights.
Just recently on February 1, 2020, Cuban contender Yordenis Ugas stopped Mike Dallas Jr. in 7 rounds. Ugas is a difficult fighter to look good against, just ask Shawn Porter who won the vacant WBC welterweight title against Ugas. Porter looked less than stellar and many ringside observers felt Ugas did enough to win.
A Pacquiao versus Ugas fight would be a very tough sell. Ugas doesn’t have a big following and he isn’t a fan friendly fighter. With Ugas style of fighting he could make it a difficult night for the Filipino ring legend. It is a high risk and low reward type match.
Danny Garcia fought Ivan Redkach on January 25, 2020 and won by unanimous decision. The former two-division champion looked good and didn’t suffer any cuts or injuries that would sideline him.
A fight between Pacquiao and Garcia would be a fan friendly affair, both fighters like to bang and both possess knockout power. Garcia is more stationary and it could be target practice for Pacquiao, but Garcia has good timing and power behind his left hook and if it lands its lights out.
Shawn Porter who lost his WBC title to Errol Spence Jr. is another plausible option. Porter and Pacquiao are former spar mates and a fight between the two would also be an action packed fight. Porter gave Spence his toughest fight to date and he is familiar with Pacquiao’s style having first hand experience sparring many rounds with the 8-division champion.
Undefeated IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. is the only unified titlist in the welterweight division.
Spence was in a very serious car accident in October and was lucky to walk away with no severe injuries. He is considered the top welterweight because he has two titles and a fight with Pacquiao would be massive since Spence has a huge following in Dallas, Texas.
Spence vs. Pacquiao would be a huge fight in the Cowboys Stadium since both fighters fought in the stadium and Spence comes from the area. They could break the attendance record for a fight and it will be a unification bout for three world titles.
Pacquiao still dreams of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather but that ship has sailed and I don’t think it will ever happen. Mayweather is more interested in fighting UFC or mixed martial arts fighters in the boxing ring.
If I were to make a guess, I would say Manny Pacquiao versus Danny Garcia could be next. Garcia is coming off two good wins, and Freddie Roach had his eye on Danny Garcia as a possible opponent for Pacquiao for a while now and now that both guys are under the PBC banner it could get made easily.
Erwin Lastimosa is a long time boxing fan and enjoys boxing discussion with his peers. Some of his favorite fighters are Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Muhammad Ali, Flash Elorde, Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao.