Watch out, boxing fans. After nearly a two-year hiatus from the sport, the Philippines’ finest is apparently gearing up for a return to the ring, per The Athletic. Manny Pacquiao–regarded by many to be the greatest Filipino athlete and one of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers of all time–recently entered talks with Terence Crawford, the number one-ranked pound-for-pound boxer in the world by ESPN.
Crawford is also the current WBO welterweight title holder. With 37 wins and 28 KOs, he is currently undefeated and will represent the toughest challenge for Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) since his 2015 duel with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The 33-year-old American boxer is a dangerous defensive puncher with great counterpunching capabilities. What makes him even more dangerous, however, is his noted ability to switch between an orthodox to southpaw stance on the fly, which, combined with his quickness and athleticism, could give him a leg up against Pacquiao.
However, the same can theoretically be said for Terence Crawford. Despite having almost a decade’s worth of youth over the 42-year-old veteran (and two inches of height and reach), he will most likely be facing his toughest foe to date in the fight. Crawford has been criticized for a lighter record of fights than most other contenders, so this will most likely be his highest-profiled opponent to date.
For Manny Pacquiao, he can rest easy knowing that his legacy as one of boxing’s greatest legends is secure. At 42, this fight carries the possibility of being his last, and if we know anything about Pacman, it is that he wouldn’t want to go quietly into that goodnight. He wants to go down swinging.
The fight is reportedly scheduled for June 5 in Abu Dhabi, and it more likely depends on a sizeable guarantee from the city to even happen. This prospective bout will be explosive, and it stands to reason that both fighters will want to walk away with the biggest purse possible. According The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, the Middle East has been proactively bidding for prize fights, so fingers crossed that this deal goes through.
Look for more updates soon for this clash of generations.