Manny Pacquiao’s three-name shortlist of potential foes for 2020 is whittling itself down to one—Shawn Porter.
The list issued by members of Team Pacquiao in November originally consisted of Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia, and Shawn Porter. In recent days, however, two of those three fighters have fallen to the side.
Former junior welterweight and welterweight champ Danny Garcia, perhaps feeling the need for one more tune-up bout before wading back into deep waters, signed on to fight Ivan Redkach in late January.
And, most recently, former four-division world champ Mikey Garcia has opted to sign himself to a one-fight deal with DAZN against an opponent to be named, who will most definitely not be Manny Pacquiao.
This leaves Porter, a former sparring mate of Pacquiao’s, all alone on that shortlist of possible opponents for the Filipino icon’s return. The two-time welterweight titlist has recently been linked to a spot as Terence Crawford’s next opponent, but a Pacquiao fight would be more lucrative and offer a bigger showcase for his talents—and he knows it.
“I do think that Manny is the more defining fight [for] me as well,” Porter recently told Boxingscene. “He’s also the number one guy on my list.”
Porter has courted the possibility of facing Pacquiao (and pondered the ways to beat him) for quite some time now, telling ESNews back in October:
“The fight with Manny Pacquiao and Shawn Porter – I think that makes more than enough sense. If ya’ll want something exciting, if ya’ll want a great fight, competitive fight you get that from Shawn Porter and Manny Pacquiao…You know, I just think I know what it takes to beat Manny. I think we saw a small glimpse to that when JuanMa (Marquez) knocked him out. I think I kind of have that recipe already, so I think I know what to do.”
Porter has shown a willingness to fight anyone and everyone in the sport and a Pacquiao fight, aside from being a huge money haul, would be a real challenge for the all-action battler. In his last fight, Porter gave Errol Spence the toughest battle of his career, but came up a bit short on the judges’ scorecards in a split decision defeat. In the past, Porter has beaten Danny Garcia, Paulie Malignaggi, Adrien Broner, and several other top names while coming up short in heated and close challenges against Keith Thurman and Kell Brook. Through it all, the Akron, Ohio native has earned a reputation as one of the most honest, earnest battlers in the game and as a fighter unafraid to take on any and all challenges.
Pacquiao’s reputation and legacy, of course, are known to all at this point. It could be safely assumed that a Pacquiao-Porter clash would be a guaranteed war and a Fight of the Year-level battle.
As for obstacles standing in the way of this fight, well, there don’t seem to be any, unless either side balks at the pairing for any reason or at the money. Both fighters currently compete under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner and in terms of career movement, the fight would make sense for both parties. Competitively, the contest would surely thrill and make for many highlight reel moments as, likely, a fairly salable pay-per-view event.
After the beginning of the year, fans should have a better idea of who both Pacquiao and Porter will be facing next—but logic points to them facing each other.
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