Manny Pacquiao might be months away from making his in-ring comeback, but that’s not stopping a panel of renowned pro-boxers from talking about the next big fight for the Filipino fighting champ.

In the latest episode of Premier Boxing Champions on Fox Sports, boxing host Kate Abdo was joined by four-division world champion Mikey Garcia, two-time welterweight titleholder Andre Berto and former featherweight kingpin Abner Mares to preview the upcoming welterweight showdown between IBF champ Errol Spence Jr. and WBC belt-holder Shawn Porter on September 28.

The panel discussed a number of things, including the fighters’ preparation, the contrast in their fighting styles, and of course, the possible outcome of their much-anticipated unification fight at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

But the most debated topic on the segment unsurprisingly concerns about Pacquiao, whom both Spence and Porter are gunning at next.

Pacquiao, who became the WBA (Super) welterweight champion after edging Keith Thurman via split decision last July, is presumably in line to fight the winner of the Spence-Porter clash.

Sean Gibbons of MP Promotions though has been lukewarm on the idea of pitting a 40-year-old Pacquiao against a much younger Spence, saying it would be a high-risk, low-reward fight for the Filipino.

Instead, Gibbons has mentioned the names of Danny Garcia and Mikey Garcia as the two potential foes for his boss in early 2020. The promoter said he would also be open to book a fight between Pacquiao and Porter, should the latter win his bout with Spence.

Defending the Pacquiao name

Because of these statements coming from Pacman’s camp, many boxing fans and pundits are already accusing the Filipino of ducking Spence, who is arguably the most dangerous fighter in the division.

On the other hand, Mares, Berto and Garcia aren’t questioning Pacquiao’s integrity as a champion, as they all think the Pacman would have accepted the fight with Spence right away if he’s the one calling the shots. However, they do understand that promoters would always prioritize the best interest of their fighters. In Pacquiao’s case, they believe Gibbons is just trying to protect his fighter from taking dangerous fights.

Garcia, in particular, strongly defended Pacquiao’s name from ducking allegations.

“He’s a living legend. Manny has fought the best for the last 20 years, he has fought the best fighters in multiple divisions. Manny ain’t afraid of nothing, but then you have advisers, promoters, managers or financially setting up other fights that could make more sense for him first before a fight with Errol Spence,” Garcia said on the PBC video.

Garcia's wish for 2020

Garcia is blatantly honest about his desire to fighting Pacquiao next year. He even admitted that he has been chasing the fight even during their time with Bob Arum’s Top-Rank, but unfortunately, the idea never advanced beyond exploratory talks.

But now that his name has been mentioned by Pacquiao’s manager, Garcia is now pushing hard for his dream match to finally happen as early as the first quarter of 2020.

Although he’s coming off a unanimous decision loss to Spence in his welterweight debut last March, Garcia still figures to be a marketable name because of his accomplishment as a four-division champ and a significantly large Hispanics fan base.