Is Manny Pacquiao getting ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. after his upcoming showdown against Keith Thurman? A lot of people believe that is precisely what is going to happen.
First and foremost, before looking forward, it is important to remember where we are and how we got here.
Pacquiao is scheduled to take on Thurman on July 20, 2019, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 40-year-old Filipino champion is coming into this bout riding high after two back to back victories over Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner, respectively. These two victories were a welcome site for both his fans and supporters following his controversial and disappointing loss to Jeff Horn in 2017.
Following the Horn loss, many wondered if Pacquiao was officially cone. He was on the wrong side of 37 at the time and had looked somewhat underwhelming in victories against both Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas. And those two wins, of course, came on the heels of his lackluster defeat in the Superfight Of The Century versus Mayweather.
The 30-year-old Thurman comes into July 20th’s match boasting an undefeated record and recent victories over the likes of Josesito López, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. The lone asterisk on his record is his no contest from 2009 against Francisco Garcia – when an accidental head clash left both fighters unable to proceed.
Up until this past week, Thurman, a younger and fresher fighter, had understandably been listed as a favorite over Pacquaio. However, with three weeks to go before their showdown, Pacquiao has reclaimed that honor and now sits as a slight favorite over his opponent.
Whether the odds change is the result of something substantive or is simply a gambling gimmick is up for debate.
On one hand, Pacquiao is reportedly having a tremendous camp and is supposedly busting up his training partners left and right. That, coupled with his original underdog status, apparently has been motivating him even further to become an absolute monster heading into his looming match.
On the other hand, Pacquiao is still 40 years old, still considerably slower than he was a decade ago, and still facing a younger and more spry opponent. As if that wasn’t enough, gambling odds have been known to shift based on gambling patterns, and it is possible that the simple fact that Pacquiao has so many rabid fans who are willing to put down money on him was enough to shift the gambling odds.
Still, let us operate under the presumption that the odds are correct and Pacquiao will emerge from his upcoming war with a victory in hand and relatively unscathed.
What comes next?
A fight against his former rival and the man who holds a victory over him, Mayweather, would make a whole of sense in this situation.
You will call, Pacquiao and Mayweather were in serious discussions to have a rematch towards the middle of 2018. Ultimately, instead of doing that, Mayweather opted for a freakshow match-up against Tenshin Nasukawa at Rizin 14 on December 31, 2018. He of course won the match handily against an overwhelmed and much smaller opponent who couldn’t fight with his full arsenal due to stipulations, but the showdown left a bad taste in many people’s mouths. Why? Well, it was the second straight fight where Mayweather was fighting a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter under boxing rules – the first one of course being his infamous showdown with Conor McGregor.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, responded to being spurned by Mayweather with a fight against Matthysse and another against Broner – both victories. Although Matthysse was clearly overmatched and Broner has been overhyped and over the hill for years, at least both men are real boxers.
Now, neither Pacquiao nor Mayweather have anything on the horizon. What does that mean? It means that once Pacquiao dispatches of his foe on July 20, nothing will stand between him and a showdown against his biggest rival and the man who can guarantee him one final massive payday.