Manny Pacquiao set to fight in 2023 after signing deal with Japanese MMA organization Rizin

Manny Pacquiao returns only a little over one year after the Philipino decided to hang up his gloves in 2021. This time the boxing legend has managed to strike a deal with Japan’s famous Rizin Fighting Federation for at least one fight initially (non-confirmed).

What are the fight details?

The name of the opponent has not been revealed yet but most eyes would be fixed on the forme five-decision competitor. The targeted weight class is yet to be revealed but it will most likely be a boxing match. The legend himself made an appearance during Rizin’s New Year’s Eve card at the Saitama Super Arena to announce the incoming bout.

Though Rizin puts out MMA matches primarily, Kickboxing and Boxing matches are also not uncommon. At this stage of his career, Manny is highly unlikely to switch to MMA so we can probably see the 44-year-old put his boxing gloves on just like his rival Floyd Mayweather.

So far, Mayweather has already fought under the banner of Rizin through a similar deal twice. The first fight took place in 2018 and the second fight took place against a famous Japanese YouTuber and fighter named Mikuru Asakura in September 2022. Manny himself attended that fight and probably was intrigued with the concept of taking easy fights against YouTubers/ Not professional fighters to earn huge paydays.

Since the dawn of the current Millenia, Japan has unofficially adapted the tradition of holding combat sports events during New Year’s Eve. On Saturday’s event, Rizin put together a super stacked card as Bellator fighters took on their Rizin counterparts winning all five bouts including a victory from Bellator prospect AJ McKee over lightweight champion Roberto ‘Satoshi’ de Souza.

Pacquiao initially wanted to take part in politics following his retirement but now seems to have changed his mind. We can only hope he doesn’t make the mistake of fighting one of the Paul brothers and putting a black mark on his legacy.


Amir Khosru

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A graduate in Linguistics Studies from Jahangirnagar University, hailing from the city of Khulna(Bangladesh). Currently working as a Content Writer who covers Combat Sports. Passionate in a lot of fields including (But not limited to) Reading, Gaming, Travelling, Strolling, Food, UFC, Anime, and whatnot!


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