2020 return to action for Manny Pacquiao possible, says MP Promotions president
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 28, 2020 12:57 PM
Will Manny Pacquiao return to action in 2020? It's possible, says MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons (AP Photo/John Locher)
With professional sports slowly coming back in different parts of the world, just how possible is it for Pinoy boxing fans to see Manny Pacquiao return to action this year?
According to MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons, it's possible, but there are a lot of factors to take into consideration.
"There’s a possibility, but you gotta remember, there’s a lot of things that have to happen. First of all, COVID-19 needs to rapidly get slowed down in the US or in Saudi Arabia, where we’ve had offers," Gibbons said on his guesting on the Philippine Sportswriters' Association Forum last Tuesday.
Professional boxing has been back in the United States since June, while combat sports events like the UFC have already taken place in the Middle East, specifically in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, also known as 'Fight Island.'
Gibbons spoke of the logistical advantages of Pacquiao possibly fighting in Saudi, saying that it would save the eight-division world champion and reigning WBA (Super) Welterweight titleholder a lot of time.
"Now, if somehow, Saudi Arabia, who has shown great interest in the senator fighting there before COVID-19 hit, if they were to come around, that would be good for the Senator because he wouldn’t really have to miss that much time like he does, having to come to the US."
The other thing to factor in, Gibbons added, is Pacquiao's schedule in the senate.
The prizefighter-turned-lawmaker has prioritized his duties as a senator, giving him a limited window to be able to train and compete.
"And the other thing is the Senator’s schedule, again. You gotta remember, his time to fight is generally July, January, July January due to his schedule in the senate," Gibbons explained.
In 2019, Pacquiao returned to the ring in January against Adrien Broner and then again in July against Keith Thurman. Prior to 2019, Pacquiao only fought twice, both times were in July.
Right now however, the COVID-19 pandmic remains the primary concern for Pacquiao and his camp.
"It’s too early still to tell if he will be able to return. We’re right in the heat of COVID-19, so everybody is really kind of in a holding pattern," Gibbons said.