Manny Pacquiao’s advisor Sean Gibbons exclusively spoke to Betway and revealed the possible options for the Filipino icon in 2024.
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What are your thoughts on Saudi Arabia’s impact on boxing?
What Saudi is doing is unbelievable for a lot of sports including boxing, soccer and in general it’s amazing to have their support now, they have re-invented and re-energised boxing. Saudi Arabia does it one way, and one way only and that’s go big or go home. I had the pleasure of meeting his Excellency Turki Alalshikh with Manny Pacquiao and they have treated us with the utmost respect.
They loved Manny and they want to have Manny to fight over in Saudi Arabia. We are speaking with them about different matches to see what works because right at this moment, there is so many heavyweights to squeeze in at the start of the year, so we have to wait a little bit longer.
What fights are on offer for Manny?
Manny has said this before, age is a number. He is still operating at the highest level of the sport and beginning camp this week in his hometown ahead of preparing for the April 20th exhibition fight in Thailand.
I see this as the perfect springboard into doing something in June or July if that’s in Saudi Arabia, the United States or England, Manny has one last year of fighting before he looks at returning to politics. Manny could do an exhibition with anyone until he is 100. He is built differently and has a fountain of youth, and we hope in the summertime we can do something big.
Saudi Arabia would be a great place to end his career and he has always wanted to fight in the Middle East. I hope it works out, we are having discussions and Manny is talking to his Excellency Turki Alalshikh.
Is Conor McGregor a potential option?
Conor McGregor has said he is fighting in the UFC in June so there’s nothing happening at all there, but it can be revisited alongside Floyd Mayweather. They are fights he could do at 100 years old, off the couch with ease.
Right now, the focus is his exhibition fight in Thailand and then hopefully Saudi Arabia and hypothetically, Conor comes back and does well, we will see but I don’t want to talk too much about Conor McGregor because he is tied up with the UFC and I don’t want to get caught up with Dana or any of that. At the moment, Conor McGregor is not in discussion at all because Conor McGregor is in the UFC and has a big fight coming up in June.
In a dream fight, McGregor would’ve been tremendous. Ten years ago, Pacquiao against McGregor wouldn’t have even been competitive but due to the fact Manny is a little older, Conor is still young and really has improved his boxing and gave Mayweather a great run, it would be a great fight. So, with the age factor, he could give Manny a good run but there’s no need to even discuss that fight until after June and see if a real fighter comes around and Manny can fight them.
What about Floyd Mayweather?
He is in the discussion every year. Everybody wants to see that fight again apart from one person and that is Floyd Mayweather. Floyd caught Manny at the right time and beat him. But Manny is light years ahead of him now because Floyd’s skills have diminished incredibly.
Manny’s hand speed is as fast as when he was at his peak, but Manny welcomes an exhibition or a rematch with Floyd and they talked about it in Japan. Manny is a fighter and an entertainer, whoever wants some can get some, but this is on Floyd. They have been in discussions in Japan for Floyd and Manny for two years.
Ricky Hatton is interested…
It would be fun, but Manny wants real fights and is looking to get in there and turn it up. Manny is looking more at the likes of Gervonta Davis or Kell Brook.
Manny and Gervonta Davis match up really well and that would be a fun fight. It’s a matter of being able to make the fight and that’s the difficult part. To close out his career in Saudi, it makes so much sense because they love him in that area so we will keep focusing on that first and we will see what comes up.