By: Hans Themisode
Rumors surrounding who Manny Pacquiao would be facing next was widespread. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer made it no secret that he was interested in facing any of the top names at the welterweight division.
After months of sifting through several opponents, he has now made his decision.
Pacquiao, 42, has remained sidelined for roughly one and a half years since his 12 round split decision win over Keith Thurman in July of 2019. Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) enjoyed success early on as he scored a first-round knockdown before ultimately grinding out the win. While COVID-19 prevented him from returning in 2020, the powerful southpaw expressed a desire to enter the ring in 2021.
News of his opponent, however, comes as somewhat of a surprise. Long time promoter Bob Arum claimed that a deal was set in place for Pacquiao to face pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford in Dubai. With that said, reports surfaced that their deal fell through due to a lack of funding. Appearing to be next in line, was former four-division champion, Mikey Garcia. The multiple-time belt holder has stated on numerous occasions that he is, in fact, next in line to face him. Yet, with Pacquiao officially stating that he’s taking on Spence Jr. next, Garcia figures to head in another direction.
As for Spence Jr., a showdown with Pacquiao is what he has craved most. After suffering a horrific car crash in October of 2019, the Dallas native proved that he was back to his old self as he dismantled former two-division champion Danny Garcia in December of 2020.
With Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) in possession of both the WBC and IBF world titles, a showdown against newly crowned WBA titlist, Yordenis Ugas, was rumored to be next. Now, with Pacquiao authoritatively pulling back the curtains on his showdown against Spence Jr., he’ll look to pick up one of the biggest wins of his already Hall of Fame level career come August 21st.
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