Manny Pacquiao has made clear that while he has a list of next possible opponents, the priority for his team is to seal a deal that will pave the way for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. Talks are underway, and if an agreement is reached, the epic showdown number two is happening in May 2020.
Tentatively, the rematch will take place exactly five years after the first battle that saw Pretty Boy keeping his unblemished record and running off with hundreds of millions. If the plan unfolds as expected, Pacquiao and Mayweather will climb the ring anew on May 2, the World Boxing News reported.
The rematch happening is anchored on the recent admission by Team Pacquiao that a deal with Mayweather is in the works. It can be presumed that serious discussions are now underway though understandably any of the camps would not provide the juicy details, at least not this early.
"My team and his team are talking right now. This is just about negotiations, about the formal discussions," the Filipino boxing icon was reported as saying.
He hastened to add that nothing is definite at the moment, allowing that the negotiations could go in any direction.
"I don't know what will happen," the Pacman said as if hinting anything can still happen.
One thing is clear though, if the rematch ever takes place, it will not be on the terms intended by the camp of Mayweather. The Money merely wants an exhibition, a no-sweat showcase that Pacquiao had downright thumbed down.
According to Sean Gibbons of MP Promotions, a deal will be finalized by December 2019. He also declared Pacquiao would not be a party to an exhibition match.
"I told him Sen. Pacquiao is not fighting an exhibition," Gibbons told the Manila Bulletin in recalling his recent conversation with the Mayweather team.
Not everyone in the boxing world, however, is clamoring for another face-off. Writing for the South China Morning Post, boxing analyst Patrick Blennerhassett has affirmed that the MayPac 2 is likely to become a reality. And he warned, there is no reason to get excited.
Blennerhassett said both boxers are past their prime and the likelihood is a rematch will only mirror the first encounter, which the analyst described as a "snoozefest,"
If the Pacquiao-Mayweather failed to materialize, Pacquiao's conditioning coach, Justin Fortune, has a ready pick as the next foe for WBA welterweight champion. The best candidate is Mikey Garcia, Fortune told The Philippine Star.
"A fight against Mikey would be entertaining and exciting. Mikey always comes to fight and I notice every fighter who takes on Manny seems to fight 10 times better than he usually does because of the challenge of trying to beat one of the greatest fighters of all time," the Australian was reported as saying.