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Manny Pacquiao wants one more title

Can he do it?
Publish Date: 06/18/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

He’s 45.

Not old in life, but ancient in boxing.

Future Hall of Famer and eight-division world champion Manny Pacquaio is contemplating a return to the ring. We went down this same road before with Pacquiao several months ago when promoter Eddie Hearn leaked a potential return last April.

“Listen, we all want that fight, and obviously Manny flew in for talks and to watch the show in Saudi Arabia, so that’s what we’d like to do,” said Hearn when speaking to IFLTV.

Who wants the fight? Hearn does because Benn is his guy, but Benn has a problem. The welterweight is awaiting the results of an appeal with the BBBC regarding an adverse drug test.

It sounds like Pacquiao and his team have moved on. Reports surfaced that a fight with WBC interim welterweight champion Mario Barrios is now in play. An interim title? Really?

I guess so.

Agent Sean Gibbons confirmed, “Manny is looking at that option to fight Mario Barrios. He loves the idea of finishing his career by winning the WBC title. That was his first belt way back.”

Pacquiao seconded Gibbons’s words a few days ago.

“We’re still in under negotiation,” Pacquiao said. “And we’re talking about that. The fight has not materialized yet. But that negotiation is ongoing.”

Pacquiao hasn’t laced on a pair of boxing since losing a rough decision to Yordenis Ugás in 2021.

He’s put that rough night aside. Pacquiao looked good for eight rounds and his age during the final four. Ugas outworked Pacquiao down the stretch, tagging him with headshots. He cemented his victory by winning the 12th and final round on all three judges’ scorecards.

Pacquiao said after the fight, “In the future, you may not see Manny Pacquiao in the ring,” Pacquiao said. “I don’t know. Let me rest first, relax, and make a decision if I’ll continue to fight or not.”

It felt like the correct decision. Pacquiao had proved in 2019 that he still had it after edging former welterweight champion Keith Thurman. That victory was on his mind last week.

“I made history at 40 beating Keith Thurman,” Pacquiao told ESPN. “And I feel at 45, I have a lot left in the game as I haven’t taken a lot of punishment over the last few years. I want to go out making history.”

Barrios, previously stopped by Gervonta Davis, fought the same Keith Thurman two years ago and was dominated over 12 rounds. Pacquiao likely zeroed in on “that” and figured, even at 45, I can beat this guy.

Hopefully, he’s aware that Barrios fought Ugas, the same fighter who retired him for a while. Barrios entered the fight a 4-1 underdog. He exited an impressive winner.

Barrios is looking forward to a potential fight with Pacquiao.

“I’m very excited at the possibility of this fight being made,” Barrios said. “Manny Pacquiao is a future Hall of Famer, a legend, and someone I looked up to growing up. To share the ring with him would be an honor and a dream come true.”

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