Superstar Manny Pacquiao didn’t fight this year, although the WBA welterweight champion certainly wanted to do so. With his senate duties taking up a big chunk of his time, and the pandemic forcing a possible fight between Pac-Man and Terence Crawford to be scrapped, Manny had to sit out 2020; this after he’d had a big 2019 in beating both Adrien Broner and then Keith Thurman. But Pacquiao, who turns 42 this week (Dec. 17), says he is aiming to return to the ring next year, perhaps for not one but two fights. Speaking briefly with Daily Tribune, the all-time great said he will not be able to box in the first quarter of 2021, as his time will be committed to his political duties, but that he is looking at returning in April, and then, if successful, again in September.
“We will still have sessions in March so there’s no way I am going to fight during that time,” Pacquiao said. “I think I can do two [fights] next year.”
Obviously, Pacquiao is still a massive deal in boxing, with many millions of fans from all over the globe supporting him. There could be one or two big, big fights featuring Pac-Man in 2021. There is the possibility Manny could still fight Crawford, or maybe Errol Spence. While Mikey Garcia’s name is often brought up when talk of Pacquiao’s next fight comes up. At age 42, Pacquiao will be pushing for history if he tackles a ruling welterweight like Crawford (the current WBO champ at 147) or Spence (the IBF and WBC champ, both men being pound-for-pound fighters) and it goes without saying how, if he could defeat one of these guys, Manny’s legacy, already secure, would be even greater. But whoever he fights next year, his aide Choi Garcia said it will have to be in front of a big crowd of fans. Pacquiao needs the energy of a crowd of passionate fight fans, Garcia said.
“I just don’t see him fighting without any crowd involvement,” Garcia said. “He draws energy from the crowd. No-one knows when his next fight will be.”
It’s already been 17 months since Pacquiao fought Thurman, when he rolled back the years and won a 12 round decision over “One Time” to add yet another world title to his collection and become the only man to have been a world champion in four consecutive decades. Now, as we close out 2020, how much has Manny got left inside? How many more remarkable performances can this living legend produce in the ring? Will Pacquiao prove to be one of those rare fighters who goes out on top, with a win? Or will Pacquiao push his luck, and his body and brain, too far? It would be sad to see Pacquiao go out a loser, but then Manny has always been a true fighting man who is more than willing to take risks. More power to the Pac-Man, we say!
Currently 62-7-2(39), it would be awesome to see Pacquiao improve to 64-7-2 next year.