Manny Pacquiao: Who's next and exactly why

Joseph Herron Updated
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It is currently being reported in several credible periodicals that eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is considering a April/May return to the ring against a welterweight to be named in the near future.  

Although the esteemed Filipino Senator has narrowed his list of potential opponents down to three worthy candidates, according to adviser and matchmaker Sean Gibbons, it has become common knowledge among fight fans that the Pacman would ultimately love to end his illustrious professional career in the ring with a long-awaited rematch opposite Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Despite Money May's recent declaration that he will indeed make a "comeback" in some way, shape or form in 2020, Manny would be wise to forget about a rematch with Floyd, who will be turning 43 years old in February, and focus on one of the three men being discussed currently as possible opponents.

A man can grow old waiting for Mayweather to make a definitive decision concerning any event...especially one that requires genuine discipline, a hard training camp and real risk in the ring.  Due to the fact that Manny Pacquiao will be turning 41 on December 17th, it could prove to be more advantageous for the future Hall of Famer to forget about Floyd Mayweather in the interim, and start publicly stating that he doesn't care anymore about exacting his revenge on the currently retired, "50-0" superstar.

The public dismissal could be the enough to motivate Mayweather into unwisely signing on the dotted line; for Pretty Boy Floyd has never responded favorably to demands or threats, but has never backed down from someone who insists that he can't or shouldn't do something...anything.

In the meantime, let's look at the pros and cons of facing the three potential candidates for Manny Pacquiao seemingly inevitable return to the ring April/May.

Mikey Garcia
39-1, 30 KO
In 2013, there was a ton of chatter from Bob Arum and Bruce Trampler about an eventual fight, a potential "changing of the guard" match,  between their young, undefeated two-division world champion and the future HOF Filipino icon at either 140 or 147 pounds. 

That was back when both men were "happily" fighting under the Top Rank promotional banner.  Unfortunately, Mikey and his brother, trainer and manager Robert Garcia, negotiated their way out of a potential fight with Manny and onto the proverbial boxing shelf, irritating the Bob-father to the point of "icing" his undefeated Super Featherweight champion with two years remaining on his contract with Top Rank, Inc.  

Although Mikey is indeed an elite level talent, he doesn't possess a big fanbase, which ultimately carries more weight on the negotiation table than the number of belts one has in his trophy case. 

Unfortunately for the Garcias, they've never understood this concept and have reportedly been a "nightmare" with which to negotiate. 

Despite being an intriguing and potentially difficult style match-up for the current Super WBA 147 pound champion, he will not get the desired fight against Manny Pacquiao for the aforementioned reasons. 

Bottom Line: Mikey Garcia will ask for much more than he's currently worth, and will be denied the opportunity to face the Pacman in 2020.  

Danny Garcia
35-2, 21 KO
Although Danny "Swift" is indeed a recognized name in this version of the Welterweight division, he is currently without a title, and is 2-2 in his last four outings with only one ring appearance this year.  And even though it's become common knowledge among avid fight fans that Danny's trainer and father, Angel Garcia, and Pacquiao's HOF boxing coach Freddie Roach can't stand each other, this might be the easiest assignment of the potential three candidates...maybe.  It entirely depends on which Danny Garcia chooses to show up.

Does the Danny "Swift" brand still carry the same clout it once did when he carried the WBC title around his waist?  Is his heart still 100% in the fight game, or has Garcia become content with being a dad and a "regular" person in the Philly area?  Would this be a fight most fans would appreciate in the ring, or would it fly under the 2020 boxing radar with the recent emergence and popularity of the heavyweight division?  

If the best version of Danny Swift did indeed show up for a once in a lifetime assignment with the Filipino Senator, he might prove to be the toughest match-up of the three considered pairings. 

Danny is a counter puncher by trade and has great power in his vaunted left hook/straight right-hand combination.  It may very well cause a ton of problems stylistically for the aging ring legend, and a win over the Philly native won't mean a thing to most interested viewers.

Bottom LIne: Danny Garcia will be considered, but will ultimately prove to be too much risk for the reward.

Shawn Porter
30-3-1, 17 KO 
Despite having three losses on his resume, Porter has gained a ton of respect from the boxing world for giving current WBC and IBF Welterweight champion Errol Spence all he could handle earlier this year.  So a fight against the always mentally and physically durable Vegas-based fighter could garner the Pacman some solid PPV numbers. 

Although Pacman's most recent outing did a respectable 500K purchases, the number could potentially be greater with the perceivably more "risky assignment".  But in reality, Porter could actually prove to be the most favorable style match-up of the three considered fight applicants.  

For most ringside strategists, it's apparent that counter punchers give Manny Pacquiao the greatest headaches in the ring, both figuratively and literally.  When you consider the Pac-man's four ring wars with Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez and his lackluster performance against Floyd Mayweather Jr., it could prove to be most advantageous to face the more aggressive fighter at this juncture of his 24-year career. 

Over time Manny has become a much more proficient "matador" in the squared circle and seems to have more trouble cutting off the ring and closing the distance these days.  

Whether it's a result of his slightly diminished reflexes or hand speed, Manny Pacquiao has become noticeably troubled by the timing and rhythm of intelligent counter punchers. 

Bottom Line: Even though all three considered opponents are trained and advised by their ostensibly meddlesome and outspoken fathers, Shawn Porter will prove to the be the easiest of the trio to work with, both inside and outside of the ring.  

Prediction: Manny Pacquiao will take on "Showtime" Shawn Porter during the first half of this year, and end his first-ballot HOF career with a massive outing against "The Truth" Errol Spence Jr. in December 2020.

Side Note:  Although there will be much talk of a potential rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2020, Manny's impressive showing against his Spring opponent will do enough to keep "Money May" far away from the Pac-Man.  


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