Front-Runners Named for Manny Pacquiao’s Next Fight

Manny Pacquiao

Getty Boxer Manny Pacquiao returns to action on August 21.

Manny Pacquiao’s list of potential opponents was finally revealed by the 42-year-old boxing legend, and the names on Pacman’s list include some of the top fighters in the sport, Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia.

But absent from Pacquiao’s list were Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor. Mayweather defeated Pacquiao in 2015 by unanimous decision, but the two preeminent fighters of the era have long been thought to be on a collision course for a rematch.

Meanwhile, UFC star McGregor lost to Mayweather inside a boxing ring in 2017, but Pacquiao and McGregor have been linked together recently as potentially on the way to staging their own crossover superfight.

Pacquiao Shares Current List of Possible Opponents

But Pacquiao revealed his current plan to ANS, saying he plans to defend his WBA welterweight title this summer.

“My plan is to get back into the ring this coming July,” Pacquiao said in an interview on ANC’s “Game Time”. “Training should start in April… We have enough time.”

Pacquiao said there were five potential opponents on his list right now, but he only named three of them.

“There’s a lot of possible opponents, like Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence or (Terence) Crawford, and also there’s a boxer from Canada and (one from) Mexico who want to fight with me,” Pacquiao said.

Still, Pacquiao said his two preferences were among the three fighters he named.

“That’s Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia,” Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao Shares Thoughts on Named Front-Runners

Pacquiao’s top two choices are Spence and Garcia.

Spence unified the WBC and IBF titles by defeating Shawn Porter in September 2019. The 30-year-old champion would likely be favored by oddsmakers against Pacquiao, but Pacman seems interested in challenging himself against the undefeated champion anyway.

“My assessment is Spence is the kind of boxer who can move, slug,” Pacquiao said. “If we’re going to fight, I need to focus on strategy, hand speed, footwork.”

A fight against Garcia is probably more likely.

Last week, Garcia revealed to Heavy his intention to face Pacquiao next. The 32-year-old American has won world titles in four different weight classes and hopes to add another in a fifth against future Hall of Famer Pacquiao later this year.

Pacquiao would likely be slightly favored to defeat Garcia. Still, Garcia’s skill set seems to have become underrated as of late since the fighter suffered a one-sided loss to Spence last year. But that bout was Garcia’s first contest in the welterweight division, and Garcia’s second bout at 147 went much better than the first. He defeated Jessie Vargas last weekend in Texas to put himself in a decent position to land the Pacquiao fight he craves.

Pacquiao also revealed his thoughts about facing Garcia.

“Garcia has a different style than Errol Spence,” Pacquiao said. “Mikey Garcia is a brawler, aggressive. He’s got different techniques also, so we need to practice and apply on that fight.”

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