Boxer-turned-lawmaker Manny Pacquiao left for the US earlier this month to begin training for his next bout. There’s just one problem. He does not have an opponent signed up yet.
Pacquiao left the Philippines for LA with his longtime trainer Buboy Fernandez. They immediately proceeded to the Wild Card gym of Hall of Famer trainer Freddie Roach.
Soon turning 43, Pacquiao made the sudden move to train for another bout after he was stripped of his title for being inactive for more than a year.
Late last week, he said “something big” would be announced by his camp soon, perhaps as early as this week. The speculation was that he would name his opponent for his bout to be held by the second quarter of this year.
Pacquiao said he was ready to fight “anyone” as long as his opponent had a valid world title, and if the price was right.
His longtime promoter Bob Arum discussed with Pacquiao the possibility of fighting World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
The Filipino ring legend said he was willing to meet Crawford for a purse of US$40 million, while the American could get US$10 million.
Another possible opponent is World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation welterweight titlist Errol Spence.
Yet another possible opponent is four-division champion Mikey Garcia.
He could also face unbeaten lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia, who would be the biggest attraction. But the 22-year-old Garcia would have to move up to Pacquiao’s weight class, which would affect his speed and power.
Although he would not have defended any title, Pacquiao was also planning on having a mega-fight with mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor, most likely in the Middle East.
McGregor, however, unexpectedly lost in his MMA fight against Dustin Poirier last month in Abu Dhabi.
McGregor blamed his focus on Pacquiao as one reason for his loss. He was expected to handily beat Poirier, whom he had knocked out in one round when they first met seven years ago.
A fight between the Irishman and the Filipino would have easily netted both “tens of millions of dollars,” according to a boxing analyst.