With the Filipino ring legend Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao getting ready to pick an opponent for his summer 2020 return to the ring, fighters in the welterweight division have been calling him out for what would be their biggest payday and shot at glory.
The 41-year-old Pacquiao hasn’t fought since last July when he beat Keith “One Time” Thurman for the WBA welterweight title in Las Vegas.
Thurman was ten years younger and undefeated at the time he fought Pacquiao. The Filipino southpaw proved a lot of people wrong when he dropped and hurt the bigger and stronger Thurman. A bit of controversy occurred when the judges scorecards were read and one judge had it in favor of Thurman. The majority of boxing pundits had it in favor of Pacquiao.
Everyone in the welterweight division wants to fight Manny Pacquiao because they see him as an aging fighter and also a big payday. It’s a low risk, high reward for a younger fighter to take on the 8-diviison champion because if they lose, they can say they lost to an all-time great and take home their biggest payday, and if they win it elevates their status and adds an ATG to their resume.
Undefeated American welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford have been eying a showdown with Pacquiao, rather than fight each other they’ve been calling out he Filipino fighter instead.
Crawford who is with Top Rank has insisted his promoter Bob Arum is in talks with Pacquiao to see if they can work out a deal for a unification bout in June or July.
Spence who is with Premier Boxing Champions and Al Haymon, has been calling Pacquiao out ever since he signed with the PBC.
Another realistic option for Pacquiao is a fight with the winner of Saturday night’s Mikey Garcia vs Jessie Vargas welterweight fight.
Eddie Hearn the promoter of the Garcia vs. Vargas event on DAZN, told talkSport he will try to make a fight with Pacquiao and the winner of Garcia vs. Vargas in Saudi Arabia.
Mikey Garcia and Jessie Vargas have been vocal on their desire to face Pacquiao.
Vargas fought Pacquao in 2016 and lost his WBO welterweight title and would like to avenge that loss and fight for the WBA championship belt. Vargas said he wasn’t at his best for the fight and would like to get another shot.
Garcia’s name has been on the list of possible Pacquiao opponents for a while. Before Garcia fought Errol Spence Jr., his only career defeat, Team Pacquiao were in contact with his camp, but Garcia opted to take on the undefeated IBF champion Spence instead.
Saudi Arabia hosted the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz rematch and both fighters got paid handsomely, Pacquiao who still demands multi-million paydays would be able to secure the type of money he desires if he fights in the Desert Kingdom.