Manny Pacquiao is in discussions to return to the boxing ring after an absence of nearly two years to fight WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford on June 5, a source at Top Rank confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday.
Pacquiao, 42, would be facing ESPN’s No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in a pay-per-view bout in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In his last bout, in July 2019, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) defeated Keith Thurman to win the WBA welterweight title, making him a 12-time world champion. The WBA recently named Pacquiao its “champion in recess.”
The 33-year-old Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs), who was the undisputed junior welterweight champ before moving up a division, last fought in November, knocking out Kell Brook. It was Crawford’s eighth straight stoppage win. Pacquiao has been knocked out only once in his past 43 fights, dating to 1999.
“Discussions have taken place for a very long time,” the source said. “And while the fight is not yet close to being finalized, if it does take place, Abu Dhabi is the targeted location and June 5 is the targeted date.”
The fight discussions were first reported by the Athletic.