WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao is set for a summer defense of his title, the Pound for Pound star revealed this month.
Pacquiao has enjoyed some much-needed time out as he went back to Senatorial duties and basked in the glory of a fantastic 2019.
WBN named ‘Pacman’ Fighter of the Year for 2019 after the eight-weight ruler came top in the fan vote by a wide margin.
Defeating Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman last year, Pacquiao proved life truly does begin at 40. Pac has since turned another year older.
So what’s next? – Well, one thing that’s not happening is a rematch with Floyd Mayweather.
Long-talked-about since Mayweather announced plans to return in 2020, Pacquiao has been forced to move on.
Mayweather has not followed through with his promise to fight again this year. This meant the Filipino had to look at other options.
Speaking on TV in his home nation, Pacquiao has switched his attention to welterweight rivals Mikey Garcia or Errol Spence in the coming months.
“My assessment is Spence is the kind of boxer who can move, a slugger. If we’re going to fight, I need to focus on strategy, hand speed, footwork,” said Pacquiao in his interview below with ANC.
“Mikey Garcia is a brawler, aggressive. He’s got different techniques also. So we need to practice and apply on that fight.”
On when this comeback to action will happen against either, he added: “My plan is to get back into the ring this coming July, second or third week in July.
“Training should start in April, May, June. We have enough time,” Pacquiao pointed out.
Fights opposite Garcia or Spence would certainly get the juices flowing, especially if taking place in Las Vegas once again.
The win over Thurman lit up the world-famous MGM Grand and was one of the events and highlights of the year.
On the back of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder II taking place at the same venue, Pacquiao’s return would be most welcome.
There could be a problem, though, as Fury and Wilder are planning a third fight. They have the same arena in mind for their trilogy.
July 18 is the reported mark on the calendar for Fury vs Wilder III. This means Pacquiao may be forced to either choose an alternative stage or delay his own blueprint.