World champion boxer Manny Pacquiao, who is turning 42 years old in two days, is refusing to give up on the sport that launched him to fame.
The WBA welterweight champion believes that he has enough strength left in the tank to fight twice in 2021. Pacquiao hasn’t stepped inside the ring since capturing the WBA title with a split-decision win over Keith Thurman in Las Vegas in July 2019.
Pacquiao plans to fight once again starting April 2021, after finishing his senatorial duties in the Philippines.
“We still have sessions in March so there’s no way I am going to fight during that time. I think I can do two [fights] next year,” Pacquiao told the Daily Tribune.
It was earlier reported that Pacquiao is eying a fight with Errol Spence Jr., which is possibly the hardest fight the Filipino boxer, who is also known as Pacman, could go looking for.
Terence Crawford, who defeated Brit Kell Brook in just four rounds last month to retain his WBO welterweight title, was originally set to meet Pacquiao in the Middle East but those plans were shelved amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Crawford, 33, wants to revisit talks with ‘Pacman’ as he aims to add the WBA strap to his waist.
Another talked up fight involving the Filipino is against UFC star Conor McGregor.
His manager Audie Attar, of Paradigm Sports Management, expects McGregor to fight Pacquiao – who he also represents – as both men are keen to fight each other. McGregor has not competed in a boxing match since he famously took on Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
Whoever Pacquiao fights, sports analysts say it is sure to get the world’s attention as Pacquiao’s name still carries a huge weight in the sport.
If Manny Pacquiao decides to go with the fights next year, he surely would have a hectic schedule ahead of him, as the boxer also has to start his presidential campaign.
Speculations about Pacquiao’s intention to run for president gained momentum in June when his former promoter, Bob Arum, announced in an interview that the 41-year-old boxer had told him that he would be a candidate in 2022.
Neither Pacquiao nor anyone close to him confirmed or denied that information and the boxer also refrained from commenting on it.
Earlier this month, the boxer was elected president of the ruling PDP-Laban party. This feat puts Pacquiao in a good position to run for presidency in the 2022 Philippine elections.
In a country that has celebrated each of Pacquiao’s fight enthusiastically, there is a big possibility Pacquiao will get majority of the votes. He has been a senator since 2016.
Manny Pacquiao’s life story, coming from a poor family and how he worked hard to carve a name in boxing, has made him a household name, even for non-boxing fans. Many young Filipino athletes look up to him and have always considered him the epitome of success in sports.