The former-eight division world champion has not fought since his July 2019 victory over Keith Thurman, but it appears that his time away from the ring will soon come to an end.
A bout with undefeated lightweight prodigy Ryan Garcia has been rumoured for Pacquiao for a while, but fights against Errol Spence Jr and UFC star Conor McGregor have also been discussed in the recent past.
Although he did not reveal an opponent or a comeback date, ‘Pac Man’ took to social media on Tuesday to inform his fans that preparations for his next fight had officially started.
“Training camp has begun,” tweeted Pacquiao.
“I’m ready to get back in the ring and to further add to my legacy in the sport of boxing. Big news coming soon.”
A meeting with Garcia seems most likely to be next for Pacquiao, according to the president of his promotional company, Sean Gibbons.
Interim WBC lightweight champion Garcia was not even born when Pacquiao made his professional boxing debut, but Team Pacquiao hopes that the bout can be agreed shortly.
“They are ongoing and hopefully things will work out,” Gibbons said of negotiations.
Pacquiao is 71 fights into his career – and no doubt realises that he does not have many years left in the sport.
With that in mind, he has also targeted a clash with unified welterweight world champion Spence Jr at some point in the near future.
“He is too slow, Pacquiao insisted when asked about the unbeaten American by BusinessMirror. “Spence is slower than Thurman but it’s going to be a good fight.”
Another fight that Pacquiao has long had his eye on is a bout with MMA superstar McGregor.
The Irishman was defeated in his UFC rematch with Dustin Poirier last month, but Pacquiao has backed McGregor to emerge stronger following the loss:
“Losing is part of the game. In sport there are winners and losers, that’s all. It is not about defeat, but about how you accept defeat in your life: how you get over that difficult time in your life,” insisted Pacquiao.
“McGregor had already beaten his rival before and I think that made him underestimate him.”
Pacquiao is certainly a man with many options as he plots his return to boxing. Given his legendary career, it would be no shock to see him take on several of these challenges before he finally hangs up his gloves.