The Manny Pacquiao express continues to rumble through boxing history–its latest stop came on Saturday evening with a convincing 12-round decision over previously-undefeated WBA champion Keith “One Time” Thurman, 10 years his junior.
The Filipino superstar’s resume over the last two decades is unparalleled and has covered countless miles of track, leaving champion after champion behind him like tumbleweeds in the wind.
Not only is Pacquiao the only boxer in history to win titles in an astonishing eight-weight classes and just the second man to win titles 20 years apart, but he has done much of this while actively serving his country as Senator and creating housing for thousands of poor at his own personal expense.
While he has engineered a legacy as an all-time great fighter, “People’s Champion” and a humble, compassionate representative in the Philippines, one wonders what more could there be to accomplish as he approaches his 41st birthday in December.
Pacquiao himself said after the fight that he will not return to the ring for the remainder of 2019 so that he may focus on his political responsibilities.
Amir Khan insisted several times just prior to Pacquiao’s fight with Thurman that he already has a deal in place with Pac to clash in Saudi Arabia next year.
It has been denied by Pacquiao’s team, but Khan doubled down and insisted that it will in fact happen. Whether or not there has been any discussions is unclear, though it seems inconsistent with ambitions expressed in earlier interviews with Pacquiao.
The newly minted WBA champion has said that he wants to steam directly to the best fighters at Welterweight, one of which he eliminated Saturday evening.
Undefeated Terence “Bud” Crawford has been excellent since moving up to 147 pounds and quickly captured the WBO championship. Ironically, Crawford’s last fight was a stoppage victory over Khan, which would seem to make him a more likely selection.
While Crawford’s name is certainly in Pac Man’s vocabulary it would appear the rails are steering him in a different direction.
The proverbial elephant in the room is none other than Floyd “Money” Mayweather. It should not be surprising that the head of Mayweather Promotions, who promoted the fight with Thurman, would attend and support their investment.
It’s no secret that Pacquiao is hungry for the opportunity to redeem himself from their first record-shattering PPV melee in which he was on the short side of a decision that went to Mayweather.
It’s possible because Money talks in more ways than one, but it’s unlikely to be more than social media buzz and fan frenzy at this point in time.
IBF Welterweight kingpin Errol “The Truth” Spence takes on WBC boss Shawn “Showtime” Porter on September 28 in what promises to be an exciting unification fight, one that Manny Pacquiao said in no uncertain terms that he will be attending live.
Regardless of who emerges victorious in September’s clash, expect the winner to be Pacquiao’s next stop. At his age he is going full steam ahead and wants the biggest fights.
None would be bigger than unifying those three belts at this point of his career.
Punch my ticket for that one, I’m all aboard!