Who Will Manny Pacquiao Fight Next: Mayweather, McGregor, or Other?

On July 20th, Manny Pacquiao not only turned the boxing world upside down, but he also blew up Twitter after pulling off an age-defying victory over Keith Thurman in an exciting WBA world title fight. Pacquiao, age 40, defeated an unbeaten world champ that was 10 years younger than him. His win also fueled the beliefs that Pacquiao has KO’d Father Time. Boxers the age of 40 shouldn’t be able to compete at this high of a level. They certainly shouldn’t be faster and more dominant than their younger world champion counterparts.

After collecting another world title, and igniting parties around the world, many fans and pundits have started to turn their attention toward who Pacquiao will fight next. Not to be outdone, boxing betting sites have also begun listing odds and prop bets for who the sport’s living legend will step in the ring against. As of now, it appears that Pacquiao could fight again in early 2020. Until then, Manny will be committing his time and energy to fulfilling his duties as a senator in the Philippines.

Manny Pacquiao Prop Bet

BetOnline has a Manny Pacquiao prop bet on the board asking who his next opponent will be. The popular online betting site has made the following options available to wager on:

  • Errol Spence Jr. (-130)
  • Shawn Porter (+300)
  • Amir Khan (+350)
  • Floyd Mayweather (+400)
  • Terence Crawford (+600)
  • Keith Thurman (+1500)
  • Mikey Garcia (+2800)
  • Adrien Broner (+10000)
  • Conor McGregor (+20000)

At face value, there are some options with potential betting value. However, I would’ve liked to have seen the option of “Other” or “The Field” also listed. Let’s dive into these options to see if any are worthy of a wager.

Opponents to Eliminate Right Away

The following opponents are easy to dismiss based on what we know so far and the unrealistic chances of a fight happening:

Amir Khan (+350)

Last week, Amir Khan made headlines by saying that he will be fighting Manny Pacquiao this November. Unfortunately for Khan, that’s not true. Pacquiao’s representatives stated that there was no agreement with Khan’s camp for a fight. Apparently, Amir Khan either jumped the gun or he really was given incorrect information by his advisors. Either way, there seems to be no chance of this fight happening.

If this was five years ago, a Pacquiao vs Khan fight would’ve been exciting. Amir was a highly-touted UK fighter and a former champ. However, he’s shown a significant decline inside the ring and just isn’t the draw that he used to be.

Keith Thurman (+1500)

As exciting as this fight was last weekend, there’s no point for Pacquiao to agree to a rematch. It makes no sense for Manny to rematch an opponent that offers very little return for Manny’s career. When Thurman was undefeated and had a world title, it was a great opportunity for Manny to try and win the belt. Now, Thurman is best suited to work his way back up the food chain. Perhaps he can fight the loser of Spence vs Ward next. Amir Khan has actually said he would be interested in fighting Thurman as well.

Adrien Broner (+10000)

Like with Thurman, there’s no reason for Manny Pacquiao to fight Adrien Broner again. Pacquiao already defeated Broner in January. In fact, his UD win over Broner is what created a buzz that Pacquiao was still a contender. The win also led to Pacquiao receiving a title shot from Thurman. Pacquiao was never in trouble against Broner and looked like the better fighter for all 12 rounds. The judges scored the fight 116-112, 116-112, and 117-111 in favor of Pacquiao. Although this option offers large odds and a huge return, it’s not worth a flier.

Conor McGregor (+20000)

In August 2017, McGregor fought and lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. via TKO in the 10th round. The fact that McGregor went 10 rounds with a fighter that some consider one of the greatest of all time, says a lot about McGregor’s skills. Nevertheless, I don’t see Conor returning to the boxing ring for any reason. He retired from MMA earlier this year and is focused on his Twitter game more than his fight game. With that said, most pundits believe that McGregor would eventually come out of retirement to return to the octagon. If he were to ever step back into a boxing ring, then Pacquiao would be the man to face. However, it’s just not going to happen. Manny will be 41 years old later this year and his days inside the ring are numbered.

Errol Spence Jr. or Shawn Porter

On the weekend of the Thurman-Pacquiao fight, it was announced that Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter had agreed to a title unification bout in September. Porter is the current WBC welterweight champion and Errol Spence Jr. is the IBF welterweight champ. The winner of this fight will arguably be considered the top boxer in the division. So, it makes sense that Porter and Spence would be the betting favorites right now considering the magnitude of their matchup. Unfortunately, neither are realistic options for Pacquiao at this point in his career.

Shawn Porter (+300) won the vacant WBC title last September by defeating Danny Garcia via UD. Porter then defeated Yordenis Ugas four months ago via SD. It was such a close fight that, regardless of whether or not Porter wins against Spence, a rematch with Ugas could most likely be Shawn’s next fight. Although he was a former sparring partner with Pacquiao, I don’t see this fight happening at all.

If Porter is highly unlikely, then a fight against Spence is even less likely. In fact, there’s no way Pacquiao would fight Spence. Errol is bigger, stronger, and can match Pacquiao’s speed. Additionally, he comes into the fight weighing at least 160 pounds after rehydration. That’s the weight limit for the super middleweight division. If Manny was 10 years younger, this fight would be possible. Unfortunately, a soon to be 41-year-old Pacquiao isn’t in a position to fight arguably one of the best fighters in all of boxing.

Neither option is worth placing a wager on.

What About WBO Champ Terence Crawford?

Terence Crawford (+600) can also be lumped into the same category as Spence. Although, he’s not really much bigger than Thurman, Crawford is a better fighter than Thurman is. Crawford has more power and a more complete arsenal of boxing skills than Thurman does. Crawford has spent the last few years as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Despite being the WBO welterweight champ, Crawford’s name wasn’t mentioned at all this weekend before, during, or after the Pacquiao fight. His name wasn’t even mentioned in conjunction with Spence or Porter either.

Currently, Crawford is being lined up to fight his mandatory challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas this fall. If anything, I would expect Crawford to fight the winner of Spence vs Porter rather than Pacquiao. For this bet, avoid Crawford as an option.

Mikey Garcia Offers the Best Betting Value

Mikey Garcia (+2800) offers the best betting value because he’s a more realistic option than anyone else on this list. Garcia is on the verge of signing a deal with Matchroom Boxing, but I don’t see that preventing Pacquiao from fighting Garcia if Manny chooses to.

Garcia is a former four-division world champ and lost to Spence in his last fight. It was difficult to watch the fight because Garcia had to come up in weight and Spence looked significantly bigger than Garcia during their fight. Mikey had no response to Spence’s size and power advantages.

Another reason why this fight makes a lot of sense is that Garcia is ranked third in the WBC and is probably just one fight away from being a mandatory challenger. Unfortunately, there have been some difficulties in finding Garcia a suitable opponent.

Arguably the most important reason as to why Garcia should be heavily considered for this prop bet is the fact that a team representative of Pacquiao’s publicly stated Mikey Garcia is one of two leading candidates for Pacquiao’s next fight.

“Other” or “The Field”

It’s disappointing that BetOnline didn’t offer an option for “The Field,” because I think there’s a great chance that Manny Pacquiao looks at fighting Danny Garcia by early 2020. Both Danny and Mikey Garcia, not related, are the two fighters that Pacquiao team rep Sean Gibbons said were the leading options:

“They wanna see Manny Pacquiao and whoever is on the other corner. They wanna see something that they feel is competitive. They don’t want a (Adrien) Broner, but a Danny Garcia or a Mikey Garcia. The weird thing is he really could if he wanted to fight a certain type of fight. He could fight December but we’re not. At 40, let him relax, take three months just chill and do what he’s gotta do and then start to look if it’s Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia.”

Danny Garcia is a former welterweight champ and also used to rule the lightweight division. However, he suffered two losses in his last four fights. Those losses were to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, which place Danny just a step below the world-champ level. However, the WBC does have Danny Garcia ranked as the #2 fighter for the title. So, it makes a lot of sense to have Pacquiao fight Danny in early 2020.

The concern is over when Danny will fight next. He last fought in April, and I’m not sure he wants to wait until early 2020 before fighting again. With that said, there’s nothing lined up for Danny in the near future.

Although he’s not available for this prop bet, keep an eye out for any other boxing prop bets or future odds for this potential matchup.

Mayweather vs Pacquiao 2

When it’s all said and done, this is the fight that fans and pundits still want to see. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (+400) is content with his retirement despite this fight potentially making him close to $100 million. Mayweather’s critics feel that Pacquiao would win a rematch considering he’s still active and Floyd is living the life of a baller.

I’ve already discussed this feud at length in a variety of articles and podcast episodes. Despite the recent social media bantering between the two, this fight won’t happen. If this fight were to take place in early 2020, Floyd would be 43 and Manny would be 41. When you factor in their age along with Floyd’s unwillingness to make this fight happen, this betting option is seriously overvalued.

Who Will Manny Pacquiao Fight Next?

Now that we’ve looked at all of the options, it’s time to pick who Manny fights next. For this prop bet, Mikey Garcia (+2800) is the best choice. He’s a highly decorated former champ who would match up well with Manny in terms of size and skills. The more I think about it, the more excited I get for this potential fight. It also helps that a team rep for Pacquiao stated that they’re looking at either Mikey Garcia or Danny Garcia next. Unfortunately, Danny Garcia isn’t an option to wager on. But he’s definitely a legitimate contender for the Pacquiao sweepstakes.

Pacquiao’s Next Opponent: Mikey Garcia (+2800)
Rick Rockwell: As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.