It now looks like Pacquiao will return on December 2nd which falls on a Sunday, indicating that the fight could take place outside of the United States again, but who should he face next?
The LA Times’ Lance Pugmire indicated in recent days that he received a text from Pacquiao indicating the above date but as of yet, without an opponent.
It is also not clear just yet who will be his promoter for the fight, or if indeed he will use his own promotional company again M.P. Promotions, the same entity that put on his recent win against Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia.
Pacquiao looked superb in the fight as he stopped the Argentinian who has since retired from the sport but, that said, it’s important to note that Matthysse was well out of his prime in the fight.
Pacquiao showed enough however to make most people feel he still has enough left of the old spark to mix it at the top-level of the welterweight division and still pose some serious risk to many of the champions.
The Amir Khan fight seemed like the most likely route next up, at least recently.
However Khan’s promoter Eddie Hearn has said in recent days he is trying to get the Khan vs Brook fight made, so that’s a new spanner in the works.
Vasyl Lomachenko doesn’t seem realistic as he’s injured at the moment and would require Pacquiao to fight him at a catch weight in the first place.
If Pacquiao lands a new promoter in the US who isn’t his old promoter of Top Rank (headed by Bob Arum), which is starting to look like the case given that Pacquiao is actively shopping around for a new promoter, that likely rules out Terence Crawford too.
In another twist of events, Floyd Mayweather has said recently he’d be interested in promoting Pacquiao and putting him in with someone like Mikey Garcia.
Garcia, though, is heavily linked with a bout against Errol Spence at the end of the year.
If there was to be a front-runner at this point, I’d probably lean towards Amir Khan but until Pacquiao gets this promoter situation sorted, it’s hard to know who he’ll face next up just yet.