• Manny Pacquiao revealed possible target date for his return
  • Pacquiao was reportedly too busy with basketball and hasn't been focusing on his next fight
  • Freddie Roach names best opponent for Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao revealed possible date for his next fight. Freddie Roach picked best opponent.

Ever since Pacquiao put on an impressive show against Keith Thurman last year, his return to the ring has been anticipated by many boxing fans. However, despite being called-out by top welterweights, the eight-division title holder hasn’t been very vocal about his thoughts. In fact, reports claim that Pacquiao has been “too busy with basketball” in the Philippines and hasn’t been focusing much on his next fight.

According to Rappler, Pacquiao was supposed to participate on a “3-on-3 exhibition game” i n the recent 2020 “Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan All-Star festivities” that happened at Mall of Asia Arena on February 13. Fans were thrilled to see a healthy and lively Pacquiao but instead, the Filipino legend was seen sitting and holding a jigsaw massage gun.The 41-year-old was gently rotating the said tool on his left calf, seemingly hoping the rapid constant pulse it emits would provide him relief so he can join the game.

In the end, “Pac-man” got convinced it would be better for him to sit out the game and stay sidelines. Fortunately, Pacquiao is optimistic that the said injury will not affect his highly anticipated boxing return. The original timetable for Pacquiao’s comeback is reportedly targeted in April. However, a slight delay is expected to happen as possible opponents were already booked for a fight.

When speaking to reporters, Pacquiao finally revealed a target date for his return. According to legend, he will have his next fight “most likely in July.”

Freddie Roach Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao, shown with Freddie Roach, has won his last three fights by unanimous decision. Reuters

Aside from finding the right opponent, basketball activities indeed contributed to the delaying of Pacquiao’s next fight. Sean Gibbons, Pacquiao’s right-hand man and president of MP Promotions, previously said they have yet to discuss any future fights for the reigning WBA “super” welterweight champion. According to Gibbons, the “Fighting Senator” has been caught up with other activities so far this year and it includes basketball, Phil Star reported.

"There are just no discussions right now. He's caught up on basketball and that's it," Gibbons said after presiding over Wednesday’s press conference for John Riel Casimero’s bantamweight title unification with Japan’s Naoya Inoue.

Who Pacquiao will face next remains a different issue. UFC star Conor McGregor has been viewed as the most viable foe for the Filipino champ. After Pacquiao’s recent partnership with Paradigm Sports, a sports management also representing McGregor, many assumed that a fight between Pacquiao and McGregor took a step closer to fruition.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s trusted trainer Roach weighed in on his favorite fighter’s next opponent. According to Roach, Danny Garcia is the “best guy out there” for Pacquiao thus far.