Boxing’s only eight division world champion Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao is still in limbo regarding his return to the ring.
The Filipino sports icon is currently working as a Senator in the Philippines and hasn’t set foot in the boxing ring since his victory over Keith Thurman in 2019.
Pacquiao captured the WBA welterweight title against the unbeaten Thurman and wanted to defend his title a few months later but the coronavirus pandemic hindered those plans.
The WBA stripped Pacquiao of his title due to inactivity and named him champion in recess while elevating Cuban Yordenis Ugas to super champion status.
With vaccines rolling out we could see the Pac-Man back in the ring in the summer.
On top of Pacquiao’s wishlist of opponents is four-division champion Mikey Garcia who only has one professional defeat and that was at welterweight to Errol Spence Jr.
Pacquiao and Mikey would be a great battle, but undefeated WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford is also in the mix depending on if Top Rank promotions would be able to get Pacquiao $40 million which is the amount he demanded to fight Crawford.
Boxing trainer Joel Diaz who went up against Manny Pacquiao twice with his fighter Timothy Bradley, told ESNEWS the fight between Mikey Garcia and Manny Pacquiao would be a great one, but he favors Mikey to stop the future hall of famer should they square up in the ring.
“That’s a great fight,” Diaz told ESNEWS. “Mikey’s very accurate and Pacquiao is reckless because he throws a lot of punches. I think Mikey at this point will knock him out with a right hand.
“I saw Mikey against Jessie Vargas, he is very accurate with his punches and he will catch Pacquiao with a right hand. It’s a great fight.”
Diaz prediction was due to the inactivity and age of Pacquiao as well as his tendency to get aggressive and leave himself open for counters.
When Mikey Garcia was a teenager he sparred Manny Pacquiao many years ago at Wild Card Boxing club in Hollywood and is familiar with what to expected from the ferocious Filipino southpaw.
Garcia has stated his favorite fighter growing up was Juan Manuel Marquez who had four grueling battles with Pacquiao.
Marquez eventually knocked Pacquiao out cold with a right hand counter in their fourth battle. Garcia said he would try to use a similar counter-punching gameplan to beat Pacquiao.