By Allan Fox: Manny Pacquiao will be returning to the ring in June or July, and he’s looking at these 3 possible opponents for that date: Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter, according to (@StevESPNKim).
IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (26-0, 22 KOs) appears to be the frontrunner for Pacquiao’s next fight in June or July, but his status for this year is unknown. Spence is coming off of a car crash, and it’s unclear if he’ll fight at all.
Errol’s management at PBC might not be too keen on him taking the Pacquiao fight in June or July without a tune-up fight first to see if he’s 100 percent. It would be risky for Spence to face Pacquiao without at least one warmup fight.
Pacquiao to fight twice in 2020
“Viva’ Gibbons also stated that Manny Pacquiao plans on fighting more than just once in 2020, even with his late start to the year inside the ring… #boxing.” said @StevESPNKim.
IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (26-0, 22 KOs) appears to be the frontrunner for Pacquiao’s next fight. Pacquiao has at least 4 options for his 2 fights in 2020. They arey are as follows:
- Errol Spence Jr.
- Danny Garcia
- Shawn Porter
- Mikey Garcia
Porter is the least likely to get a fight against Pacquiao in 2020, due to his fighting style being too similar to Jeff Horn’s. Shawn uses a lot of rough-house tactics to win his fights at close range, and his head often comes into contact with his opponent’s faces resulting in cuts.
Pacquiao was cut up from head-buts in his fight against Horn in 2017, and it’s highly unlikely that he’ll want to face someone like that. Porter’s fighting style is almost MMA-like with the way he mugs his opponents on the inside, and doesn’t let them get space to throw shots.
Mayweather won’t come out of retirement to face Pacquiao
As for a rematch between Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. in 2020, it’s NOT happening. Sean Gibbons of Manny Pacquiao Promotions says Mayweather said he’s “retired.”
Fans won’t care too much that Mayweather isn’t going to take the fight with Pacquiao, because he’s no longer seen as a relevant fighter by people. Mayweather has fallen into the celebrity Youtuber level where he fights guys zero experience in boxing in celebrity-like matches. Floyd has been out of the mix for too many years now, and he’s not known as an active fighter by fans.
Floyd hasn’t fought an elite level boxer since 2015
It’s not a surprise that Mayweather won’t be taking the rematch with Pacquiao. Mayweather will be turning 43 on February 24, and he’s not fought against an elite level fighter since his match against Pacquiao in 2015.
Since that fight, Mayweather has beaten a badly faded Andre Berto, who looked shot to pieces in 2015, UFC fighter Conor McGregor and Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa. In the latter two fights, Mayweather’s once blazing hand speed was gone, and he looked like an elderly fighter without the ability that he once had.
Pacquiao is still fighting on a high level
In contrast, Pacquiao the always active 41-year-old is still fighting on a high level, and is coming off of arguably a career best 12 round split decision victory over previously unbeaten Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman on July 20. That was an all around impressive victory for Pacquiao with him beating a top 3 welterweight. The scores were 115-112, 115-112 for Pacquiao, and 114-113 for Thurman. Boxing News 24 had Pacquiao winning 115-112.
Mayweather likey wants to keep his 50-0 record, and he likely would suffer his first loss in an embarrassing fashion if he fought Pacquiao right now. It’s smart for Mayweather not to take that fight, considering that it would surely end badly for him.
Sean Gibbons says Manny Pacquiao’s return will be in ”June or July”, says that the 3 targets are Spence, Danny Garcia and Porter. As for Mayweather, Gibbons says, “Mayweather’s told us, ‘I’m retired, I’m not fighting.'” #boxing
— Steve Kim (@StevESPNKim) February 6, 2020
Mikey Garcia an option for Pacquiao
If Mikey Garcia defeats Jessie Vargas on February 29, he could vault to the top of Pacquiao’s shortlist of fighters. Although there’s not a lot of hardcore boxing fans that would be excited at seeing Pacquiao face Mikey (39-1, 30 KOs) in the summer, the match would still sell to the casual fans.
Of the four options that Pacquiao has for his June/July fight, Mikey is arguably the easiest. He’s not as big or as rugged as Spence, Porter or Danny Garcia, and he’s not going to be able to wear Pacquiao in the trenches.
The 32-year-old Mikey needs to beat the much bigger 5’11” Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KOs) in their fight on February 29 in Frisco, Texas. It’s a tough ask for Mikey to beat Vargas, because he’s facing a much bigger fighter than himself.
Vargas is a small junior middleweight now, who was at one time one of the best welterweights in the division. A victory for Mikey is possible though, given his talent, power and overall skills. If the fight is close, Mikey will get the nod by the judges.
Mikey is a former 4 division world champion, and he has a large following. He freely admits that he looked bad in his welterweight debut against Spence in March 2019 in losing a lopsided 12 round decision.
Mikey looked completely unprepared for what he was going up against in facing Spence. The 5’7″ Mikey didn’t take a warm-up fight at welterweight to get ready for Spence, and he put on a lot of weight in bulking up.