Veteran boxer Manny Pacquiao has announced a new deal with RIZIN and is expected to fight in 2023. The 44-year-old Filipino former professional boxer revealed this at Bellator MMA vs. RIZIN, although he did not say when the fight would hold or who his prospective opponent was in the fight.
“A few months ago, I was here as a guest, and today I have a very exciting announcement tonight,” Pacquiao said. “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.”
Pacquiao retired from professional boxing in August 2021 after losing to Yordenis Ugas. But he continued to take part in exhibition fights and his last fight, which ended in a win, was a few weeks ago. He has had 4 exhibition fights in total and won 2, as the other 2 were not scored.
After a very fulfilling boxing career with 12 major titles across 8 divisions, Pacquiao was able to prove during his time that he was one of the toughest boxers of all time. In his last fight, which happened days before his 44th birthday, Pacquiao moved with the swiftness of a youth and was not mellow with his punishment. Clearly, he still has it in him and is not ready to stop anytime soon.
But with only an established career as a boxer and almost no records as a mixed martial artist, it is rather interesting to see what Pacquiao has in store for us. The two sports are not so dissimilar, and Pacquiao should find it easy to adapt.
The only thing we know at this point is that his next opponent would be a Japanese fighter since RIZIN in a Japanese sport organisation.