Finally, Manny Pacquiao has received his World Boxing News Fighter of the Year 2019 award after a long delay. The covid-19 pandemic has hit this world so hard that also the logistics chain has been severely disrupted in several countries.
Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) was announced World Boxing News Fighter of the Year 2019 but could not collect or receive the trophy until now due to a complete lockdown in the Philippines. Despite World Boxing News had forwarded the trophy to the boxing legend earlier this year, Pacquiao just received the prestigious trophy to his home in Manila. This is one of the many examples how the covid-19 pandemic has messed up the logistics in several countries disrupting much more important supplies such as food and medicine.
In any event, going back to Manny Pacquaio, the trophy was awarded with a large majority of votes (more than 85% of the total WBN fans voted for him). 2019 was a very prolific year for Pacquaio as PacMan defeated Adrien Broner (33-4-1-1 NC, 24 KOs), and later he dominated Keith Thurman (20-1-0-1 NC, 22 KOs) in Nevada to regain his Super WBA Welterweight title. On the contrary, Pacquiao decided not to fight in 2020 and stay focus more on the ongoing Covid-19 crisis which is hitting his country hard. Manny Pacquaio is not just a boxing legend, he is also a Senator of his country and being arguably the most popular figure in the Philippines, Pacquaio is always under a lot of stress when it comes to solve issues for his people.
Given the ongoing pandemic and the delicate situation the Philippines are going through right now, Manny Pacquiao may not go back to fight any time soon despite there have been a lot of rumors about tentative fights. Not only boxing matches, but also an exhibition against the UFC fighter Conor McGregor, one of those events which makes only for the wallets of the promoters and fighters. McGregor does not stand a chance against Manny Pacquiao in a boxing bout, zero. On the contrary, what it may make sense is to go against one of the big names of the welterweight reign: Errol Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) and Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs).
Without analyzing in detail those two potential clashes, I feel that Manny Pacquiao does not stand a chance against Crawford and very little chances against Spence. Those two kids are hungry, in their prime time; Manny will certainly pay 1 year of inactivity and his age. Fishing on heavier divisions would be mission impossible since any big name up there would represent an impossible challenge, Jermell Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs), Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs), Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) or Smith (27-0, 19 KOs). Pacquiao is not a man who compromises: the difference between him and Floyd Mayweather is all here.
If he fights, Pacquiao wants to go against the best and trying to snatch back some belts knowing that it may cost a lot. But this is one of the reasons why Manny Pacquaio, other than being of the greatest boxers ever, is also so respected and loved. In any event, it will be interesting to see what is next for Pac-Man in 2021 given that the choices are not limited, they are just highly challenging, if not impossible. It must also be noted that given his incredible reputation, no fighters have ever rejected a potential match-up against Manny Pacquiao, other than Floyd Mayweather for years, of course. Either for money, or for ambition/pride, rarely a boxer refuses to fight Manny Pacquaio and this would help hopefully to bring him back on a ring sooner than later.