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Boxing: Who Will Be Manny Pacquiao’s Next Opponent?

Odds to be Manny Pacquiao's next opponent

At the young age of 40, Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquaio is having a bit of a resurgence in his career, winning the WBA welterweight title, and is on a three-fight winning streak for the first time since he won three in a row in 2013 and 2014.

That previous winning streak culminated in a dance with arguably the best defensive boxer of all time, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr., and a rematch could be on the horizon. However, it is current IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. who is favored at -130 to be the next opponent for Pac-Man.

Mayweather Rematch?

From 2008 to 2012, boxing fans were begging to see the defensive skills of Floyd Mayweather Jr. get tested by the hard-hitting southpaw from the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao, but we had to wait until 2015 to get the fight. The bout was slightly anticlimactic, in typical Mayweather fashion due to his style, and news came out afterward that Pac-Man had a torn rotator cuff and needed surgery and that’s why he wasn’t that offensive in the fight.

Online sportsbook BetOnline had opening odds of +2000 for Mayweather to be Pacquiao’s next opponent. However, after a back-and-forth on social media between the two boxers, the odds have shifted drastically down to +400 for the May-Pac rematch.

That being said, I’m not sure if it’s the bet to make. Floyd is a perfect 50-0 but his last two fights were over an MMA star in Conor McGregor and an exhibition bout vs a Japanese kickboxer in Tenshin Nasukawa. I don’t think Mayweather is going to put himself in any danger to lose that zero at the end of his record.

Value on Crawford?

Right now, the second name on the pound-for-pound rankings list is Terence “Bud” Crawford, trailing only Vasily Lomachenko. Crawford is 35-0 with 26 wins coming by knockout and his last six bouts have failed to go the distance. I feel as though Pacquiao wants to test himself against the best of the best and Crawford maybe isn’t getting the light shone on him in the way that he should as he tears through the welterweight division.

This bout makes sense for both parties as it catapults Crawford into the limelight with a notable name, while Pacquiao has the opportunity to put the first blemish on Bud’s perfect record and beat the second boxer on the pound-for-pound rankings list. The bout is also good for boxing as it would unify two of the four major world welterweight titles as Pac-Man possesses the WBC strap and Crawford is the WBO champion.

Crawford, who was last in action on April 20, also doesn’t have an opponent lined up for a title defense while Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter, the top two guys on the oddsboard, are already set to square off against each other in late September.

Could Conor McGregor Enter the Boxing Ring Again?

UFC superstar Conor McGregor hasn’t fought since October 2018 and doesn’t have a fight scheduled. He was submitted in the fourth round by lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in that bout and has been holding out looking for the rematch. There have also been rumors of him playing back his 2017 bout with Floyd Mayweather.

Why does this fight make sense? McGregor has an opportunity to box another all-time great, but a drastically different boxer than Floyd Mayweather Jr. If the Ireland native could earn the upset, then he could make the case for another huge payday in a rematch with Floyd. Meanwhile, if Pac-Man goes out and dominates McGregor, then perhaps there would be more fuel to the fire for May-Pac II.

Here’s a look at the full list of odds to be Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent:

Odds to be Manny Pacquiao's Next Opponent
FighterOdds at BetOnline
Errol Spence Jr.-130
Shawn Porter+300
Amir Khan+350
Floyd Mayweather Jr.+400
Terrance Crawford+600
Keith Thurman+1500
Mikey Garcia+2800
Adrien Broner+10000
Conor McGregor+20000