Manny Pacquiao Next Fight Update: Errol Spence Jr. Could Face Pacman As Mayweather Camp Remains Mum On Negotiations

Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao (Photo: Joe Camporeale | Reuters)

Manny Pacquiao could return to the ring against Errol Spence Jr. instead of Floyd Mayweather Jr. The Pacquiao and Mayweather camps are currently engaged in negotiations, but there hasn't been a definite result yet. As it happens, Pacquiao will likely turn his attention to Spence Jr., the IBF welterweight champion.

Pacquiao, the only boxer in the world to win major world titles in eight different weight classes, is reportedly flying to Arlington, Texas to witness the title match between Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia. Spence Jr. and Garcia are scheduled to fight on March 16, at the AT&T Stadium (formerly the Cowboys Stadium). The winner between Spence Jr. and Garcia could be in line to fight the Filipino ring icon. However, Garcia is currently a heavy underdog in the oddsmakers' books which makes Spence Jr. the likely winner of this fight.

According to Pacquiao, his camp is already engaged in a negotiation for a rematch against Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao added that the possible rematch against Mayweather could be announced as early as two weeks. However, Mayweather Jr. just laughed off the rematch rumors that have popped up the last few weeks. Aside from Pacquiao, Mayweather has also been linked to a rematch against Canelo Alvarez and Conor McGregor.

That being said, Floyd Mayweather Jr. clearly isn't worried about these boxers. "Man everybody wants a rematch with me! Man - don't worry about that," Mayweather told TMZ. But the fact that Floyd hasn't confirmed nor denied that there is an ongoing negotiation for a rematch may mean that it is really happening. Pacquiao and Mayweather have been on this road before, and their first fight followed the same tune.

But if the negotiation is really underway, it is clearly happening too slowly for the Pacquiao camp. While Mayweather Jr. is Pacquiao's top choice, the 40-year-old former pound-for-pound king and people's champ has other choices should Mayweather Jr. decline the rematch. And this is where Spence Jr. would come in. Spence Jr. is the biggest name in the welterweight division at the moment.

However, in addition to Spence Jr., Pacquiao can also fight the WBA 'super' welterweight champion Keith Thurman, the WBC welterweight king Shawn Porter, and the WBO welterweight titleholder Terence Crawford. The international matchmaker Sean Gibbons revealed that Pacquiao could fight anyone he likes. "Floyd's a good opponent, but everybody is on the table for the Senator," Gibbons said.

Pacquiao, Spence Jr., Thurman, and Porter are all under the banner of Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions. Theoretically, a fight between Pacquiao against any of these boxers would be easier to set-up. Thurman recently defended his title and would probably be ready to face Pacquiao at a moment's notice. But Spence Jr. is the more intriguing option for Pacquiao, provided, of course, that he gets past the ever-dangerous Mikey Garcia.

At 5'9 ½ with a 72-inch wingspan, the 29-year-old Spence Jr. is considered huge by welterweight standards. The American Spence Jr. is also undefeated in 24 fights (21 KOs) and has won his last 11 matches by knockout. While Pacquiao has shown that he can deal with the height difference, it has been a decade since he last fought the likes of Antonio Margarito and Oscar De La Hoya.

The only boxer that Pacquiao and Spence Jr. have both faced is Chris Algieri. In 2014, Pacquiao knocked Algieri down six times, but the Filipino senator wasn't able to finish him off and settled for a lopsided unanimous decision. Meanwhile, Spence Jr. squared off against Algieri in 2016 and dropped the latter three times to score a fifth-round TKO.

No question, a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the one fight that the majority of fans wanted to see, but a unification title match against Spence Jr. can also be as exciting. And Spence wouldn't be lacking the motivation for sending Pacquiao into retirement. "My main thing is I want to beat the best fighters in the division and be the guy who's on top of the division."

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