Manny Pacquiao, who holds the WBA’s secondary “world” welterweight title and is still a top star in the 147-pound division at age 40, is looking to return to the ring in July, and will be ringside for tonight’s Spence-Garcia fight at AT&T Stadium in Texas, with an eye on the fight and its winner.
Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KO) has won two straight following his highly controversial loss to Jeff Horn in 2017. In July of last year, he went to Malaysia and knocked out Lucas Matthysse to win the 147-pound trinket. He followed that by signing a deal with Al Haymon and joining the PBC family, where the bulk of the top welterweights are, and which also kept his hopes of rematching Floyd Mayweather as alive as they’re going to get.
He made his PBC debut in January, winning a wide decision over Adrien Broner in a Showtime pay-per-view main event. The show reportedly did about 400,000 buys on pay-per-view, proving that Pacquiao still has some juice with boxing fans (as does Broner, against all odds).
And since Pacquiao is still viable on pay-per-view as far as anyone can see, a July return would also be a pay-per-view main event, either through Showtime or FOX, according to Pacquiao adviser Sean Gibbons.
The Spence-Garcia winner is just one potential opponent, and it might be a bit of a stretch to turn one of them around in just four months to fight Manny Pacquiao, depending on how tonight goes. There is also potential for Manny to face WBA “super world” champion Keith Thurman, although the WBA probably isn’t going to order that or anything — why have one big money champion to draw sanctioning fees from when you can have two?
All in all, there are four notable opponents Manny could face next: the Spence-Garcia winner, Thurman, WBC titleholder Shawn Porter, or Danny Garcia, who has a fight April 20 against Adrian Granados. If it’s not one of those four, you get into the likes of Omar Figueroa Jr and Andre Berto for PBC welterweights, and unlike Broner, who has his dedicated fans, those guys don’t bring much to the table for a pay-per-view.
The Mayweather rematch is seemingly off the table for the time being. In theory, Floyd might have been mildly interested for the money if he hadn’t learned he can make bank smacking around 20-year-old kickboxers who weigh 20 pounds less than him.