Veteran boxing analyst atty. Ed Tolentino believes that a world title showdown between retired eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao and WBO world welterweight champion Terence Crawford could take place in 2023.
Pacquiao, 44, retired from boxing in 2021 after losing to Yordenis Ugas on points. He made a comeback last month in a six-round exhibition against DK Yoo and has expressed his willingness to fight for a world title again against the top dogs of the 147-pound division.
“I really think Manny Pacquiao is coming back in 2023. We saw his excitement against DK Yoo in South Korea when he was being introduced and making the ring walk. He was very happy with the attention,” Tolentino said in an interview on Sparring Sessions.
“When he said that he wants to fight Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, that is a good title to a story, but at 44 years old, relatively inactive, and there is nothing more to achieve—that to me is a dangerous fight.”
Crawford, an unbeaten prizefighter from Omaha with a record of 39-0 with 30 knockouts, has often struggled to get a big fight throughout his career. Just recently, negotiations for an undisputed bout with WBC, WBA, and IBF world welterweight titleholder Errol Spence Jr. fell apart.
Given the circumstances, Tolentino believes that it would not be far-fetched if Crawford decides to give Pacquiao a shot at his world title.
“If he wants to fight for a world welterweight again which he won several times, what is there to prove? Pacquiao really wants to fight and he was not satisfied with his fight against a Youtuber,” Tolentino stressed.
“I do not think that is how he wants to end his career. If he goes to fight Crawford or Spence, he will get good money but will it be worth the punishment that he may absorb? What I fear is that Crawford might make the fight.”
—JMB, GMA Integrated News
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