Skip to content
Home » Exclusive: Manny Pacquiao aims for stunning final title shot at 45

Exclusive: Manny Pacquiao aims for stunning final title shot at 45

  • by
  • 3 min read

World Boxing News has learned that Manny Pacquiao will return in 2024 for one final professional bout and, possibly, a world title shot.

The Filipino boxing legend hasn’t fought in a sanctioned bout since losing his WBA welterweight title to Yordenis Ugas in 2021. During his time away, Pacquiao participated in a couple of exhibitions, but his continued desire to sign off on another massive event has yet to come to fruition.

Manny Pacquiao Promotions Chairman Sean Gibbons has updated WBN on the eight-weight champion’s intentions. The “Pac-Man” still has that hunger to compete and is looking into a potential world title shot.

“Manny Pacquiao is still chasing history,” Gibbons told World Boxing News exclusively. “He is looking at one more big fight in 2024!

“Manny made history at 40 years old when he beat Keith Thurman to win the WBA 147-pound world title. He became the oldest fighter ever to do it. He would love a shot at the welterweight title before calling it a career.”

Current champions at welterweight include Terence Crawford, Jaron Ennis, Mario Barrios [interim], and Eimantas Stanionis. Crawford is likely to drop his WBO and WBA versions soon after being made WBC Champion in Recess recently. Stanionis would then be elevated to full WBA champion from his current position as secondary, with Ennis holding the IBF championship and Barrios awaiting a WBC upgrade.

Ennis makes his Philadelphia return this summer in defense against Cody Crowley but remains an option for Pacquiao for later in the year. Crawford is out of commission as he fights Isral Madrimov for the super welterweight crown on August 3.

That leaves Stanionis or Barrios as the obvious choice for a significant event in their careers. Stanionis and Barrios recently fought on the May 4 undercard of Canelo vs Munguia, retaining their belts against Gabriel Maestre and Fabian Maidana. Pacquiao will know all about Stanionis from his time at the Wild Card Gym, but may prefer Barrios for the coveted green and gold.

Pairing either of the two against Pacquiao for a blockbuster battle in the next few months would be a no-brainer. That’s if Pacquiao wants to land another title shot before he turns 46 in December. Being out of action for three years isn’t ideal preparation, but at least that way, Pacquiao gets to go out on his own terms.

The Ugas loss came after Errol Spence Jr pulled out injured. That wasn’t how it was supposed to end.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.