Manny Pacquiao Willing to End Retirement to Fight Terence Crawford, Errol Spence

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 10, 2022

Former Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao poses for a photo during a weigh-in at the KINTEX in Goyang, South Korea, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Pacquiao will fight in an exhibition match with South Korean martial artist D.K. Yoo on Sunday, Dec. 11. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Manny Pacquiao is willing to come out of retirement for the right bout, as he told FightHype:

"Of course I can fight Terence Crawford or [Errol] Spence. I'm eager to fight with them to test them, to see if they're really a champion," Pacquaio said (h/t Donagh Corby of the Mirror). "I've been fighting a lot of boxers at 147, 140, 135, I've been fighting one of the greatest boxers in the world. So, I want to test them to fight with me."

The 43-year-old retired from boxing in September 2021, but a bout against Crawford or Spence would certainly catch the attention of fans.

Crawford (38-0) and Spence (28-0) are both undefeated and ranked first and second, respectively, in the welterweight division by ESPN.com, although they have been unable to agree to a fight against each other.

Pacquiao had similar trouble setting up a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. during their primes before finally getting a bout in 2015. Mayweather won by unanimous decision, although Pacquiao said he is willing to have a rematch.

"I'm willing to have a real fight with him, not an exhibition," Pacquiao said, via Allan Fox of BoxingNews24. "We need to answer those questions in the minds of the fans."

Mayweather retired in 2017, but he has competed in exhibitions in recent years.

Pacquiao has also scheduled exhibitions, including a matchup Saturday with South Korean social media star DK Yoo.

The last professional fight of Pacquiao's career was a loss to Yordenis Ugás by unanimous decision in 2021, dropping his record to 62-8-2. That match came over two years after his previous bout, a win over Keith Thurman.

Despite his resume as an eight-division champion, Pacquiao could have a difficult time against either Crawford or Spence. Crawford is considered the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world by ESPN, while Spence is rated No. 3.

Pacquiao still believes both high-profile boxers need to prove themselves.

Crawford is scheduled to face David Avanesyan on Saturday, while Spence doesn't have another fight scheduled.