Sports

Pacquiao announces rematch with Mayweather in Japan in 2024

It appears the much-anticipated rematch of two world boxing icons – former eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Paccquiao and his American nemesis Floyd Mayweather Jr. – is happening this 2024.

This loomed as Pacquiao made the announcement on the rematch during an appearance at Rizin 45 in Japan, along with Rizin chief executive Nobuyuki Sakakibara. Pacquiao has signed up with Rizin Fighting Federation as early as in April 2019.

“Can you please fight Floyd Mayweather next year?” Sakakibara asked Pacquiao, in a video posted on Rizin’s social media accounts and reported by various media, including ABS-CBN and Sports Illustrated.

In response, the 46-year-old former Senator Pacquiao said: “Thank you so much for inviting me here again. I’m sorry for the last time that we promised we were going to fight this year, but like Sakakibara explained, this year I will see you here in Japan again with a big fight against …”

The former Philippine senator trailed off, and Sakakibara stepped in to say: “Floyd Mayweather.”

“Floyd Mayweather, yeah,” Pacquiao said. “I thought you didn’t want me to say that. But I’m excited for that. Thank you for always supporting Rizin, and thank you Sakakibara-san.”

The fight has been in the pipeline for many years and Mayweather simply shrugged off the proposed rematch. Saudi Arabians were among those who wanted to stage the rematch as early as 2020.

After the Rizin announcement, Mayweather, 47, has not made any response, but the boxing world is said to be hopeful the rematch would happen this time.

Boxing fans belief is bolstered by the fact that Mayweather has fought exhibition bouts under Rizin.

Mayweather actually fought twice under the Rizin banner.Mayweather competed against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in 2018 and then against MMA fighter Mikuru Asakura in 2022 in boxing exhibitions

In 2015, Mayweather vs Pacquiao broke all boxing records with the highest gross of over $400 million, including record 4.7 million on pay-per-view sales, in their fight in Las Vegas dubbed “Fight of the Century.” Mayweather won that fight.

Boxing experts estimate that the rematch, while it may not equal or surpass the 2015 record, could still be a blockbuster and could be around $100 million for both fighters.

Boxing fans are eagerly awaiting more details about the bout.

Pacquiao retired from professional boxing in September 2021 after losing his WBA title to Yordenis Ugas in their bout in Las Vegas. But he has done one exhibition bout since, defeating YouTuber DK Yoo in a decision back in December 2022.

Pacquiao, who ran but lost in the last presidential election in the Philippines, was recently in the headlines in the MMA world after UFC star Conor McGregor once again challenged him to a boxing match.

Pacquiao and Mayweather have retired from professional boxing but both have both done exhibition matches. Mayweather has fought 10 times in exhibitions, compiling a record of three wins and one no-contest, while three of his matches were not scored. He was last in action on June 11, 2023, fighting John Gotti III in a bout that was stopped in the sixth round after it devolved into a brawl.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, has done one exhibition bout against YouTuber DK Yoo, last December 2022.

It was not announced if the planned rematch between Mayweather and Pacquiao will be an exhibition bout or a full-fledged professional showdown. (Jeanne Michael Penaranda)