Boxing star Manny Pacquiao will make his fighting return against Kota Ibushi at an upcoming RIZIN event in Japan.
According to a report from Tokyo Sports, the Pacquiao/Ibushi matchup is in the preliminary stages of negotiations but is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.
The report comes after Pacquiao appeared at the Bellator vs. RIZIN event last December. At the event, he appeared to announce his signing with RIZIN, but the details of his contract weren’t released.
Pacquiao, arguably one of the top boxers in the sport’s history, hasn’t fought in pro boxing since a loss to Yordenis Ugas in Aug. 2021. Since then, he’s run for political office, recently falling short in the 2022 presidential election in the Philippines.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Kota Ibushi In The Works
The terms of the fight are still being worked out between Pacquiao and Ibushi’s teams. Ibushi, a professional wrestler, doesn’t have any boxing experience.
This could potentially set up a special rules match between Pacquiao and Ibushi, although this is purely speculative. Ibushi is a wrestling star in Japan and was also courted by All Elite Wrestling (AEW) last year.
Pacquiao accumulated a 62-8-2 record during his boxing tenure. He earned wins over the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, and Oscar De La Hoya during his career.
Before the loss to Ugas, Pacquiao earned three straight wins, including over Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman. His win over Thurman earned him the WBA world welterweight championship.
Pacquiao’s last fight came against DK Yoo in an exhibition in December. He won the fight via a unanimous decision.
Additional details surrounding Pacquiao’s promotional debut are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
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