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  |   Sports


Manny Pacquiao next fight rumors: Will he finally choose and opponent and return to the ring this year?

Manny Pacquiao in a promotional trailer for his July 2019 fight with Keith Thurman. | Photo credit: Premier Boxing Champions / YouTube screenshot

In a few weeks, it will be the anniversary of Manny Pacquiao’s latest boxing bout. That is also pretty much how long fans have been waiting to hear who he is going to fight in a match that many hopes would take place this year.

Is Manny Pacquiao planning to fight in 2020?

Shortly after Pacquiao won against Keith Thurman in July last year, the Filipino boxer made it clear that he has no intention to retire from the sport anytime soon. A few months later, talks about his next fight in 2020 have started to make headlines as it was initially planned within the first quarter of the year.

When it became clear that the Q1 2020 fight was not happening, Pacquiao confirmed in one of his interviews in the Philippines that the plan is to fight sometime in July. Unfortunately, like all sporting events planned this year, Pacquiao’s supposed to fight this summer had also been canceled due to COVID-19.

The reigning WBA (Super) welterweight champion has yet to announce his new plans for his next fight. But some of his recent online posts include videos of his training suggesting that he is staying in shape likely for a planned boxing match. Pacquiao’s feelings about retirement likely have not changed, so fans’ best bet is that the boxer-senator would have at least one blockbuster match before the year ends.

Manny Pacquiao’s star-studded potential opponents

Another pertinent question about Pacquiao’s next match is who would face him next. After defeating Thurman, Pacquiao had been very vocal about wanting a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

In the last quarter of 2019, there were plenty of reports suggesting that negotiations for the Pacquiao versus Mayweather 2 event were underway. However, Mayweather shattered any hopes for a supposed rematch with Pacquiao as he insisted he is “finished” with boxing.

Pacquiao obviously prefers to fight his long-time rival in the hopes that he would redeem his loss when they first fought in 2015. But now that is very unlikely happening; the Filipino has no reason to worry about finding another deserving opponent.

The much younger, new breed of welterweight stars are practically lining up to get a piece of Pacquiao. The likes of Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford, Danny Garcia, and Mikey Garcia are hoping for a chance to make a huge statement by defeating a future Hall of Famer. But just like the schedule of his next fight, his next opponent is also something Pacquiao has yet to finalize.

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