The 42-year-old fighting senator took to his official Twitter account earlier today to announce that he had begun training camp in preparation for his much-anticipated return to action.
Pacquiao hasn’t competed since scoring a thrilling split-decision victory over Keith Thurman in July 2019 that earned him the WBA (Super) Welterweight title. The Filipino is currently riding a three-fight win streak that includes victories over Lucas Mathhysse, Adrien Broner, and Thurman.
Recently, PacMan was in the news after the WBA designated him to “champion in recess,” a decision criticized by many in the boxing community. According to a report from ESPN, the WBA’s guidelines indicate that a state of recess can be invoked “when a champion is unable to defend the belt for medical, legal or other reasons beyond his control.”
Regardless of that decision, Pacquiao, a future Hall of Famer, remains one of the biggest stars in boxing and certainly has options when it comes to his next fight.
A catch weight fight against rising Lightweight star Ryan Garcia has been rumored lately, although that has not yet been made official. It’s also unclear when that fight, which could be labeled an exhibition, would occur.
Pacquiao has also previously been called out by both Terence Crawford and Errol Spence. Crawford, the WBO 147-pound titleholder, and Spence, the unified WBC-IBF Welterweight champion, are considered the top two 147 pounders in the world. If Pacquiao is looking for the toughest fight available, either of those options would make sense.
Also, former four-division world champion Mikey Garcia has long been rumored as a potential opponent for Pacquiao. In 2020, Garcia bounced back from a one-sided loss to Spence by scoring a victory over Jessie Vargas. He, too, would serve as a logical next opponent for PacMan.
As of now, it’s unclear who Pacquiao will face in his return to the ring, but if the Filipino is to be believed, that return is coming sooner rather than later.