Sports

Pacquiao returning to ring, to fight Chihiro Suzuki in Japan on July 28

MAKATI CITY – Yes, world boxing icon Emmanuel Manny Pacquiao is not only returning to the Philippine Senate but also in the ring.

Pacquiao announced in Japan that he will participate in yet another exhibition match on July 28.

Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, will fight Japanese Rizin Featherweight Champion Chihiro Suzuki in a three-round exhibition match, the Rizin Fighting Federation announced.

Suzuki immediately declared he will knock down the Filipino boxing star. Suzuki is a known knockout artist it was learned,

Pacquiao said he was slighted with Suzuki’s declaration and vowed to give his best in the fight.

Pacquiao, who earlier said he was gearing for a possible rematch with American world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., last professional battle was more than two years ago against Yordenis Ugás, where he lost  in their welterweight showdown at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with scores 115-113, 116-112, and 116-112 in favor of the Cuban fighter.

Pacquiao later fought in an exhibition match against DK Yoo of South Korea in December 2022, where he scored a win via a unanimous decision.

The former senator was supposed to fight Buakaw Banchamek earlier this year but their bout was postponed, according to reports.

Suzuki, a Japanese-Peruvian fighter, is the reigning Rizin featherweight champion. He and Pacquiao faced off in Tokyo at the Rizin 47 event, Manila media and ABS-CBN reported.

Earlier this year, the decorated Pinoy boxer was amed by sports news company Sportico as 22nd highest-paid athlete of all time.

Pacquiao, who ran and lost in the 2022 presidential election, recently announced his intent to throw his hat once more in the political ring in the 2025 elections.

In another report, Boxing News reportedly learned that Manny Pacquiao wants to fight for the WBC welterweight title upon his return to the sport later this year.

The 45-year-old wants one more fight, according to MP Promotions Chairman Sean Gibbons, with the green and gold strap the number one target. 

WBN spoke to Gibbons about the possibility of a shot at the belt, which became vacant when the WBC made Terence Crawford ‘Champion in Recess.’ Crawford had his position downgraded until the full extent of a run at super welterweight is known. ‘Bud’ challenges Israil Madrimov for the WBA version on August 3, with the vacant WBO title also on the line. Crawford still holds the WBO and WBA belts at 147.

However, with the WBC title now free, Pacquiao hopes to be allowed to compete against Mario Barrios in the summer or fall. Barrios recently defended his interim title on the Las Vegas undercard of Canelo vs Munguia. The Mexican could be upgraded to full champion any day now.

WBN has already contacted the WBC to gauge whether they would be receptive to Pacquiao being given a shot at Barrios despite being out of the ring for three years and losing his last fight.