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Manny Pacquiao to return in July, possibly in Saudi Arabia

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao 62-7-2 (39) has confirmed he will return to the ring in July possibly in Saudi Arabia.

Two names in the frame are undefeated IBF and WBC boss Errol Spence Jr 26-0 (21) and four-division titleholder Mikey Garcia 40-1 (30).

“My assessment is Spence is the kind of boxer who can move, a slugger,” southpaw Pacquiao told ANC in the Philippines.

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“If we’re going to fight, I need to focus on strategy, hand speed, footwork.

“Mikey Garcia is a brawler, aggressive. He’s got different techniques also.

“So we need to practice and apply on that fight.

“My plan is to get back into the ring this coming July, second or third week in July.

“Training should start in April, May, June. We have enough time.”

Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing wants to pit the Filipino superstar against Garcia in Saudi Arabia on July 11.

“We’re gonna be doing a show there at the end of June, early July, which we’re looking into at the moment,” Hearn said last month.

“We have a partnership in place with Skills Challenge for shows in Saudi and that also involved some exciting stuff about academies and performance centres to try and bring amateurs through in Saudi Arabia as well.

“They want us to deliver a huge show at the end of June, early July.

“I think Manny Pacquiao is a guy they would probably love to bring to the Kingdom.”

Pacquiao, 41, fought twice last year, outpointing Adrien Broner in January and scoring a split decision victory over previously undefeated Keith Thurman in July.

The 32-year-old Garcia rebounded from his loss to Spence Jr in his welterweight debut with a 12-round decision win over former champion Jessie Vargas last month.

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