Boxing legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will be coming out of retirement to fight in Japan this time, a hint of mystery with the nature of his fight.
Pacquiao, 44, made the announcement last December 31, 2022. He inked a deal with Rizin, a Japanese mixed martial arts league focusing on MMA. However, the organization also promotes kickboxing, as well as boxing. His match is said to happen sometime this 2023.
In a surprise appearance at the Rizin FF 40 at the Saitama Super Arena, the retired boxer said, “A few months ago, I was here as a guest, and today I have a very exciting announcement. I have agreed with Rizin to fight next year, the date will soon be announced, and also my opponent that Rizin will choose. I’m open and excited to fight a Japanese fighter.”
After the loss against Yordenis Ugas, Pacman retired from boxing and focused on his presidential bid in 2022. Unfortunately, he lost his candidacy.
Last December, however, he returned to the ring and fought South Korean YouTuber DK Yoo in an exhibition match. He won that fight via unanimous decision.
Meanwhile, he promised his upcoming match would be “better” than last time. Pacquiao expects his next opponent to be a better fighter than Yoo, who “does not know boxing at all.”
“That’s why he experienced a hard time in the ring. But this next exhibition match here in Japan, this is different,” Pacquiao stated in an article at boxingscene.com. “Probably my opponent is a professional MMA fighter, so he knows how to punch.”
At the tender age of 12, Pacquiao entered the world of boxing. He was even considered the best Southern Philippine junior boxer when he was 15.
In his amateur boxing career, Pacman recorded 60-4. He had 62 wins, eight losses, and two draws as a professional.
Pacquiao had an illustrious career as a boxer and was followed by many, including OKBET players. He completed many firsts in boxing, including being the first to hold world titles in eight divisions, and was hailed champion in five different weight classes. Pacman was also the first to be a four-decade world champion.