By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
SUCCESSFULLY and convincingly overcoming the latest challenge in his Hall-of-Fame boxing career, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is not short in options for his next fight.
This according to Sean Gibbons, president of Manny Pacquiao (MP) Promotions.
Meeting members of sports media for the first time at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday at the Amelie Hotel-Manila, Mr. Gibbons said their camp is weighing various options to take coming on the heels of the conquest of the Filipino legend of American champion Keith Thurman and his WBA super welterweight title in July.
A “convincing” split decision winner. 40-year-old Pacquiao, the MP Promotions president said, proved he is still a force to be reckoned with and ready to take on any opponent when he returns to the ring early next year.
American Gibbons mentioned champion fighters Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia and Shawn Porter as possible next opponents for Pacman even as he expressed reservation over a rematch with Mr. Thurman.
“Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia, there’s other guys out there to fight. Shawn Porter,” said Mr. Gibbons at the PSA Forum, presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel-Manila, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Danny Garcia, the former holder of the World Boxing Council welterweight title, was initially considered as an opponent for Mr. Pacquiao prior to the Thurman fight while Mikey Garcia is a former lightweight and junior welterweight title holder.
Mr. Porter, meanwhile, was a former sparring partner of Mr. Pacquiao and current WBC champion who’s scheduled for a unification match against Errol Spence this September at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Mr. Gibbons went on to say that they are not so high in having a rematch with Mr. Thurman, especially after how Mr. Pacquiao convincingly beat the former.
“He (Thurman) had his opportunity, he had his shot. If there’s a real demand for it like the (Juan Manuel) Marquez, the (Marco Antonio) Barrera, the (Erik) Morales, those type of fights. If the public have a huge demand to do it again, if there’s an outcry for it. But he (Pacquiao) beat him clean,” the veteran international matchmaker said.
Against Mr. Thurman, Mr. Pacquiao showed firmer command for the most part of the scheduled 12-rounder and took everything that his opponent threw at him on his way to the 115-112, 113-114 and 115-112 split decision win; an outcome Mr. Gibbons insisted should have been a unanimous decision.
Just the same, split decision or not, Mr. Gibbons said it was a convincing victory.
As to a possible rematch with undefeated retired fighter Floyd Mayweather, Mr. Gibbons said they are very open to it but as of the moment there is nothing definite yet on that front.