Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao could still fight in 2020, with Saudi Arabia a front-runner to host that fight.
WBA Super welterweight champion Pacquiao, 41, hasn’t fought since rolling back the years with a split decision victory over Keith Thurman in July 2019.
Pacquiao was supposed to fight earlier this year before the Covid-19 Pandemic stopped boxing in its tracks, yet MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons says the Filipino could still fight in 2020 if the virus eases in Saudi Arabia and the US, where offers have been received. Any return has to be balanced with Pacquiao’s political role as a senator in his native land.
“There’s a possibility [Pacquiao fights in 2020], but you’ve got to remember, there’s a lot of things that have to happen. First of all, Covid-19 needs to rapidly get slowed down in the US or in Saudi Arabia, where we’ve had offers,” Gibbons told the Philippines Sportswriters’ Association Forum, according to ABS-CBN Sports.
“Now, if somehow, Saudi Arabia, who has shown great interest in [Pacquiao] fighting there before Covid-19 hit, if they were to come around, that would be good for the Senator because he wouldn’t really have to miss that much time like he does, having to come to the US.
“The other thing is the Senator’s schedule, again. You’ve got to remember, his time to fight is generally July and January due to his schedule in the [Filipino] Senate.”
The age-defying Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) has been training at his home in the Philippines as he awaits clarification of his next fight.