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Manny Pacquiao has 2 options for his comeback fight, Mikey Garcia or Terence Crawford

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One of the most anticipated events in the global boxing fandom at present is the return of Manny Pacquiao (67-7-2, 39 KOs).

The eight-division world champion has been out of action since July 2019 when he defeated Keith Thurman and won the WBA (Super) welterweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada. However, due to inactivity, WBA stripped Pacquiao off of his title, although designated him as the “champion in recess.”

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With COVID-19 already delaying his return, Manny Pacquiao was on speculations for facing UFC star Conor McGregor, but after McGregor’s loss against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, talks regarding the fight abruptly halted.

Moreover, WBC interim lightweight champion Ryan García has expressed his desire about having a ‘dream’ fight with Pacquiao, but that fight ultimately did not reach any legitimate talks as well.

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However, Pacquiao has to return against someone, and for the Filipino icon, that someone could either be four-division champion Mikey Garcia or the WBO welterweight titleholder Terence “Bud” Crawford.

What’s important is I’m ready: Manny Pacquiao aiming a strong comeback to boxing this year

In a recent interview with Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN, Manny Pacquiao hinted that a bout against Mikey Garcia is the more preferred choice, but his team isn’t opting Crawford out entirely.

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“We’re leaning towards Mikey Garcia, but we’re also talking to Crawford,” said Pacquiao, “it depends on who I get to face, what’s important is I’m ready.”

A former lineal junior welterweight champion, Mikey Garcia has also held the WBC and IBF lightweight titles as well as the WBO featherweight belt. The 33-year-old was last seen in action against Jessie Vargas in February last year, following his single career defeat against unified welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr in March 2019.

Terence Crawford, on the other hand, defended his WBO title with a superb 4th round TKO win against Kell Brook in November last year, marking Bud’s fourth straight successful title defense.

Although he’s treating Crawford as an option for his return fight, Manny Pacquiao confirmed back in February that he told Bob Arum that he would take $40 million from a title fight against Crawford, as he desired to fight a champion on his comeback.

Although he’s currently spending time away from fights, Pacquiao, 43, has been keeping peak physical health as he even added basketball as a drill aside from sparring.

“We never really got complacent, we’ve always continuously worked out. We keep on playing basketball aside from boxing. Actually, right after my fight the last time with [Keith] Thurman, I didn’t work out boxing, but I kept playing basketball,” added Pacquiao, who has had experience in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) as a 2014 draft pick for Kia Picanto. (H/T BoxingScene).

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Saikat Banerjee
Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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