Manny Pacquiao is considering coming out of retirement to fight WBC interim welterweight champion Mario Barrios next, possibly for the full belt.

Salvador Rodriguez of ESPN reports that Pacquiao is “exploring a fight with Mario Barrios.”

It would be a risky fight for Pacquiao to take because the 29-year-old Barrios (29-2, 18 KOs) is fighting at a high level now and is considered one of the best fighters in the welterweight division.

If the fight comes off, it’ll be the 45-year-old Pacquiao’s first contest since his twelve-round unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas on August 21st, 2021.

In that fight, Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) was his by Ugas’ lead right hands all night, unable to muster up enough offense to win. After the fight, Pacquiao blamed his loss on having cramps in his calves, which limited his ability to move. Pacquiao hasn’t fought since.

Barrios defeated Yordenis Ugas (27-6, 12 KOs) by a twelve-round unanimous decision last year on September 30th, 2023, knocking him down in rounds two and twelve in an upset victory. In the 29-year-old Barrios’ last fight, he beat Fabian Maidana by a twelve-round unanimous decision on May 4th.

The current WBC 147-lb belt-holder, Terence Crawford, was given the ‘Champion in recess’ designation by the World Boxing Council due to his moving up to 154 to pursue the WBA junior middleweight title against Israil Madrimov on August 3rd. Crawford isn’t expected to return to 147.

If Pacquiao took a couple of tune-ups against fringe contenders at welterweight and looked good, boxing fans would give him a better chance of defeating Mario Barrios. But with Pacquiao out of the ring for three years since his loss to Ugas, it doesn’t look good for the soon-to-be 46-year-old Filipino star.

Barrios beat up Ugas and is looking at the top of his game right now. Pacquiao could take a lot of punishment from this fight, and regret that he chose him.

Fans on social media question why Pacquiao is coming out of retirement, speculating that he needs money. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Pacquiao’s fortune is estimated at $220 million.







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