Manny Pacquiao’s next fight may not be for a very long time after the Filipino sports icon recently retired from the squared circle. However, if you know boxing, you know the legends can’t seem to stay away from the fight game for too long and the beloved superstar likely won’t be much different from the greats that preceded him.
Who could Manny Pacquiao’s next fight be against?
Following his loss to welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas in August, “Pacman” decided to begin his campaign to become the next president of the Phillippines in 2022. Of course, retirement from the fight game followed shortly after the current Filipino senator’s monumental decision.
Three ghosts that could chase to fight the “Pacman”: If his bid for the highest job in his homeland doesn’t pan out, and he makes his return to boxing, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Conor McGregor, and Mikey Garcia could be waiting for him.
- The rematch: Although Mayweather vs. Pacquiao happened years after it should have, the fight still resonates with fans. And his legion of fans still want to see him get another crack at the unbeaten trash talking American. In an era where retired boxers competing is en vogue, the interest in MayPac II could be as strong now as it ever was
- The Irishman: A fight with McGregor was rumored throughtout the fall and winter of 2020. The “Notorious” losing back-to-back fights in the UFC has taken some luster off the bout, but as two of the most popular combat fighters alive, a fight between them will always be intriguing to their millions of fans.
- An establishment test: Garcia is a top-10 welterweight in the world but a talent a few rungs down the ladder from someone like Errol Spence, Jr. The fighter Pacquiao was set to face before Ugas and one that has a win over Garcia. A test versus a relevant star but not the elite of the division would make sense in a return fight.
Manny Pacquiao vs Yordenis Ugas recap
In August, Pacquiao stepped back into the ring, after two years away, at 42-years-old. Originally, he was set to face pound-for-pound superstar Spence, Jr. However, a detached retina forced him out two weeks before the bout, and in stepped Cuban Olympic bronze medalist Yordenis Ugas. A man that would go on to stun many in the boxing community and upset the former eight-division world champion.
Father time always wins: Despite being a -360 favorite heading into the fight, the taller, longer, and seven years younger Ugas was able to outbox Pacquiao over 12 rounds, inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. “Pacman” has somehow been able to hold father time at bay and remain an elite fighter in the sport for two decades. However, against the Cuban, it seemed like his age finally caught up with him.
- Although a competitve fight, in the judges eyes Ugas was the clear victor. Winning on the cards with scores of 115-113, 116-112, 116-112
- While Pacquiao threw twice as many punches as his opponent (815 to 405), Uguas was far more economical. Landing more total punches, jabs and power punches over the duration of the fight
- With the last-minute change of opponent, the pay-per-view buys for the fight were much lower than hoped for at 200,000 buys
What makes Manny Pacquiao so popular?
Pacquiao has become a sports icon because of his rags to riches story of rising up from a life of poverty to becoming one of the most famous athletes on the planet. His blinding hand speed, uncanny power, and unorthodox footwork made him a perennial pound-for-pound star for many years. He has also transitioned into being a major political figure in his homeland. First by serving in the Filipino house of representatives then in being elected to the Senate in 2016.
The pugilistic ‘Pacman
- Pacquiao is the only eight division world champion in boxing history. Starting his career competing 108 pounds (light flyweight), and fighting as high as 147 pounds (welterweight)
- During his career he defeated legendary boxers in Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Erik Morales, and Marco Antonio Barrera
- Pacquiao’s 2015 bout against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. was the highest grossing fight of all time. Scoring 4.6 million PPV buys and grossing over $410 million.
Manny the politician
- In 2013, Pacquiao was elected to the house of representatives as a congressman in his home province of Sarangani
- In that time, he has donated a great deal of his own money to help uplift the province. Which is one of the poorest in the country and has a poverty rate of 45%
- In 2016, he earned over 16 million votes and was elected to one of the government’s 12 senate seats
- In September, he announced his plans to attempt to become the next president of the Phillippines
Manny Pacquiao’s net worth
Money is often one of the greatest measuring sticks for a fighter’s success. As of 2021, Pacquiao’s net worth is estimated to be as much as $325 million.