Manny Pacquiao ready to return to the ring: ‘News coming soon’
By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao announced today that he’d be returning to the ring soon. He’s already started training for a fight against a still to be determined opponent.
The question is, who will Pacquiao be facing next? Ryan Garcia talked nonstop to the media until recently that his next fight will be against the former eight-division world champion Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).
In his announcement today, Pacquiao said his next fight would “add to my legacy,” which suggests that he will fight a quality opponent.
You would suspect that would rule out the 42-year-old fighting Ryan Garcia or Conor McGregor because those guys would add to his legacy.
Those fighters would subtract from Pacquiao’s resume and make a mockery of what he’s done in the past. It wouldn’t be a big deal for Pacquiao to fight Ryan or McGregor if he were retired from the sport and was looking to entertain his loyal fans.
But in Pacquiao’s case, he’s coming off one of his most significant career wins with his victory over previously undefeated Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman in July 2019. Pacquiao isn’t at the stage of his career where he is reduced to fighting a novice like 22-year-old Ryan Garcia or McGregor
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) February 9, 2021
Chris Williams speaks for many boxing fans when he says there will be angry people if Pacquiao decides to fight Ryan Garcia next rather than one of these top-level fighters:
- Errol Spence Jr
- Terence Crawford
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Shawn Porter
- Danny Garcia
- Yordenis Ugas
- Keith Thurman
- Mikey Garcia
Fans would like to see Pacquiao take on Spence Jr or Crawford, but those would be perilous fights for the inactive Filipino star. With the layoff Manny has had, he probably should be looking for a tune-up level opponent against a 140 or 147-pounder.
If Pacquiao wanted to get the fans’ attention, he would set up a fight against Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, Vasily Lomachenko, or Gervonta Davis. Fans wouldn’t mind seeing Manny fight those guys despite them competing at 135.
It’s not as bad for Pacquiao to fight those guys as Ryan Garcia because they’ve won world titles, and they’re not perceived as Instagram fighters.
If Pacquiao wants to get an easy payday against an opponent that fans would put up with, he should choose the former four-division world champion, Mikey Garcia. People would likely give Pacquiao a free pass if he were to fight Mikey because he’s been out of the ring for a year and a half.
Mikey used to be a good fighter when he fought in the lower weight classes, so it’s not as if Pacquiao would be facing a totally unproven guy like Ryan Garcia. Any fight involving Ryan Garcia as Pacquiao’s opponent would be considered a joke and a sad money-grab.
A rematch with Thurman wouldn’t be a nasty fight for Pacquiao because ‘One Time’ would market the war to the hilt by giving many interviews. But it’s unclear whether the boxing world would be interested in purchasing the match on PPV.
They already saw Pacquiao beat Thurman once, and a rematch might not interest fans given that neither fighter has fought since then. It wouldn’t be wrong if Thurman hadn’t gotten so fat after his loss to Pacquiao and just sat around doing nothing.
Pacquiao is a senator in the Philippines, which gives him an excuse for not fighting during the pandemic. Thurman doesn’t have that excuse. He just got fat and sat around for the last year and a half, and that’s why he’s been ignored by Errol Spence Jr when he’s asked him for a fight.
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