The 44-year-old boxer put together an incredible 62-8 record over his 26-year-long career in professional boxing, making his debut at just the age of 16. His last bout was a loss in 2021 against Yordenis Ugás for the WBA Super Welterweight title. More recently, Pacquiao took on three exhibition boxing bouts in Korea in 2022.
Manny Pacquiao will box for RIZIN in 2023
During the Bellator vs. RIZIN and RIZIN 40 New Years Eve event hosted in Tokyo, Japan, Manny Pacquiao stood at the center of the ring next to PRIDE and RIZIN founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara. The two announced that Pacquiao will face a Japanese opponent in the RIZIN ring in 2023.
Manny Pacquiao said:
“A few months ago, I was here as a guest and today I have a very exciting announcement tonight. 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.” [Transcript courtesy of MMA Junkie]
RIZIN is certainly no stranger to ‘legends’ boxing fights. In two matches the Japanese MMA organization has hosted Floyd Mayweahter Jr. exhibition boxing bouts. Mayweather faced kickboxing great Tenshin Nasukawa in 2018 and former RINGS champion Mikuru Asakura in 2022. The US-born 50-0 boxing great walked away with a victory in both matches.
Later in 2023, a former Mayweather opponent, Manny Pacquiao will set foot in the RIZIN ring. The specifics remain to be seen but it will likely be an exhibition bout.