By: Sean Crose
Addressing the media before his highly anticipated bout with Errol Spence later this month, Manny Pacquiao spoke out on a wide range of subjects. The only matters he didn’t seem particularly willing to speak of were his political ambitions in his native Philippines, and his future in the ring after the showdown with Spence. “I could be,” he said, when asked if he would be fighting anyone else after the Spence bout, “or there’s more. One at a time.” At forty two years of age, the Filipino icon is obviously past his prime. Still, his most recent bout – two years ago against Keith Thurman – saw Pacquiao beating one of the best of boxing’s newest crop of top fighters.
“In terms of recovery,” he said in slightly broken English (in an interview presented by FightHype), “it’s not that easy when you were young…when you push yourself in a day training,” Pacquiao added that “sometimes an overnight rest is not enough to recover.” The man intends to keep going, though, at least until the fight with Spence is over and done. What’s interesting about Pacquiao at this point in his career is that he looks to be at a crossroads. Therefore, the man appears to want to see how the Spence fight turns out before making further decisions.
If he should end up fighting on past this summer, Pacquiao makes it clear that he will not be facing a social media sensation. “No, I will not,” Pacquiao said when asked if he’d be willing fight Jake Paul. “I want to fight the best to add into my legacy.” As far as Pacquiao is concerned, the internet celebrity turned boxer doesn’t have near the experience to face him. “He’s already (at a) disadvantage,” Pacquiao said, referring to Paul’s inexperience in the fight game. Pacquiao’s personal position on the recent spate of novelty bouts is simple: “I’d rather take one of the best to fight to add to my legacy.”
A possible exception to that rule, depending on how one looks at it, is one Conor McGregor, UFC star and loudmouth extraordinaire. Pacquiao is now in court with McGregor’s sport’s management company because he thought a showdown with the Irish star was going to happen. “It’s a promise, but it didn’t come true,” Pacquiao said. “I don’t know. We’ll see.” And of course, there’s one particular person Pacquiao wouldn’t seem to mind facing. “I’m still active in boxing. He’s retired already, so I don’t know,” Pacquiao responded when asked about Floyd Mayweather. When questioned outright if he’d be open to the possibility of a rematch with Mayweather, Pacquiao’s answer was clear.
Even if the two men never meet in the ring again, Pacquiao would like to see Mayweather in attendance when he faces Spence at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. “He’s invited,” said Pacquiao of his former foe.