Pacquiao returns to training, but who is he fighting?

Ryan Songalia

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Pacquiao returns to training, but who is he fighting?
Pacquiao remains optimistic that a fight with Mayweather will happen and is close to returning to the gym to prepare for his next fight

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s American trip came and went without the much-anticipated Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight announcement people had been hoping for.

No big surprise at the Super Bowl, as some had theorized. No late night hotel contract signing. Not even the exchange of cell phone numbers could break the deadlock that would bring forth the bout.

Now back in his hometown of General Santos City, Philippines, the 36-year-old boxing icon hinted that a fight announcement could be happening soon through his official Instagram. The question is, against whom?

“Spend time with my family before we start our formal training for the fight. To God be all the Glory,” the 8-division champion wrote on Tuesday, February 10 in an Instagram post which featured him holding his youngest son Israel Pacquiao.

Spend time with my family before we start our formal training for the fight. To God be all the Glory.

A photo posted by Manny Pacquiao (@emmanuelpacquiao) on

Pacquiao, ever the optimist, seems convinced that the bout with the five-division titleholder will still happen. 

“I’m thinking that the fight will happen,” said Pacquiao in an interview with FoxNews’ Chris Wallace which aired this past Sunday. “So hopefully…within one week, though, we can hear from them and fix the fight. I don’t want that when I retire boxing, and there’s a big question to the minds of the fans.”

Mayweather’s former best friend Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, isn’t convinced, recently telling Sports Illustrated that he thought “Money” was “scared to death” of the Filipino boxer. 

Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) seems to be closing in on the point of no return for his May 2 date, with middleweight champion Miguel Cotto still without an opponent for his next bout.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, would likely fight Amir Khan on May 30 if the fight with Mayweather never happens.

The former unified junior welterweight champion Khan, a former Pacquiao sparring partner, seems to be far less discriminatory about who he fights, essentially calling out every major fighter between 147 and 160 pounds during a tweet on Tuesday.

“Mayweather, Pacquiao, Cotto, Bradley, Marquez all available to fight around May.. Im ready and want to fight the best #LetsMakeItHappen,” tweeted the British boxer, who seemingly just wants a big fight this year and doesn’t care much who it’s against. 

Pacquiao is rumored to already be in the hunt for sparring partners, and the partners he picks would answer that question.

Whether he picks partners who use their shoulders to parry punches, or whether they are movers who throw a lot of punches would be a pretty good clue as to whom he’ll fight next.

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