Manny Pacquiao back in training with 'big news coming soon'

Filipino fighter has said previously he plans to fight twice in 2021

Manny Pacquiao has begun training in earnest ahead of his return to the ring, with the Filipino teasing that “big news is coming soon”.

The eight-division world champion, 42, has not fought in almost two years, when he defeated the previously unbeaten Keith Thurman on points in July 2019.

Pacquiao has since been linked with high-profile bout against the likes of WBO champion Terence Crawford or IBF title-holder Errol Spence Jr, and even a crossover fight with UFC star Conor McGregor.

Most recently, fast-rising American lightweight Ryan Garcia had said a clash with Pacquiao was close to being booked, however The National understands that is not on the table at present.

On Tuesday night, Pacquiao tweeted: “Training camp has begun. I’m ready to get back in the ring and to further add to my legacy in the sport of boxing. Big news coming soon.”

A sitting senator in the Philippines, Pacquiao had targeted a busy 2020 in boxing, but the coronavirus pandemic derailed those plans. He has since said he would look to fight twice this year, which would extend his professional CV to 73 professional bouts.

His split-decision victory against Thurman took his record to 62-7-2, with 39 wins coming via knockout. The Las Vegas win landed Pacquiao the WBA welterweight “super” title, although last month the governing body said it was designating him "Champion in Recess" because of his inactivity. Cuban Yordenis Ugas was subsequently promoted to welterweight world champion.