Dubai: It has been a roller-coaster two weeks for Filipino boxing icon and Senator Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao.
The eight-division champion was tested, and declared negative, for COVID-19 on March 29, just days after his Manny Pacquiao Foundation teamed up with Philippines-based Chinese billionaire Jack Ma to donate masks, test kits and medical equipment to various government departments.
He also took to Instagram to send out this message: “We’re excited to announce the Jack Ma Foundation, in partnership with the Pacquiao Foundation is pledging 50,000 kits to combat the COVID-19 in the Philippines.”
And in-between all the hullabaloo, Manny has been seriously planning his future calendar of fights which include a made-in-heaven match-up with UFC great Conor McGregor, sometime in 2021.
But before that, he has his contractual obligations to fulfill for his new management company, Paradigm Sports Management (PSM). Interestingly, PSM is also McGregor’s official promoter.
It has now been nine months since Pacquiao’s last fight where he scored a split-decision victory over WBA welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although Thurman has repeatedly called out for a rematch that is not likely to happen in the near future, with former titlists Danny Garcia and Mikey Garcia appearing to be at the head of the queue to face the 41-year-old Pacquiao.
Also fighting for his place in line is Bolton-born star Amir Khan who has been soliciting for a fight against his former training partner either in Dubai or Saudi Arabia.
But earlier this week, the former two division world champion said he was reflecting on whether the time was right to hang up his gloves.
However, historically boxers are known to quit, only to come back at the slightest opportunity, or once the money runs out.
Money has been the over-riding factor in a sport which boasts the richest purses ever. When Pacquiao fought Floyd Mayweather in 2015, the fight grossed more than $600 million with television networks raking in more than $400 million.
Though it is not official, Mayweather reportedly earned a whopping $180 million with Pacquiao lining his pockets with a cool $120 million.
So it makes perfect sense for rematch that will break the bank and put even more millions into each fighter’s already excessive wealth.
It’s a money fight and a glamour fight with both the greats well past their sell-by date, even if them remain competitive and healthy.
Then there are the glamour-only fights to consider with Pacquiao wanting to fight McGregor, in the ring.
And what about an even more mouth-watering contest against unbeaten Russian UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
While Khabib is still very much a mainstay of the UFC, with a fight against Tony Ferguson being on-and-off, Umar Kremlev the head of Russia’s boxing governing body is working on his own scheme to get the Dagestan native into the square jungle.
Which-ever way you look at it there are exciting times ahead of Pacquiao as he juggles his busy schedule as a Senator and combat fighter.