Pacquiao engaged in talks to fight the unbeaten UK boxer Conor Benn in June
Boxing fans of Abu Dhabi, are you ready to rumble?
The sport’s living legend Manny Pacquiao, who announced his retirement in August 2021, is planning to climb back into the ring and fight in the UAE capital, according to an official of the Filipino icon’s boxing promotions company.
The legendary boxer’s comeback bid is reportedly set for 3 June. Pacquiao is currently engaged in talks to fight the unbeaten UK star boxer Conor Benn, according to MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons, speaking to sports network ESPN.
At 44 years old, Pacquiao will be one of the oldest boxers to continue to fight at an elite level.
One of boxing’s greatest fighters of all time who holds the record for being the only eight-division world champion in history with a total of 12 major world titles under his belt, Pacquiao was 42 and a sitting senator in the Philippines when quit the sport following a unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas in a welterweight title fight.
He announced his intention to run for the Philippine presidency shortly after the loss. He eventually lost in last year’s presidential elections.
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According to Gibbons, Pacquiao’s campaign for the presidency was the primary reason the Pinoy boxer retired from the sport.
With politics now out of the way, Pacquiao is now looking to further cement his legacy in the sport.
Pacquiao had fought in exhibition matches while in retirement, beating former world champion Jesus Salud in August 2002 and kickboxer DK Yoo in Seoul in December, the same month the Pacquiao-Benn bout was first discussed, according to Gibbons.
Benn, who has knocked out 14 of his opponents, was rated in ESPN’s top 10 at 147 pounds. The 26-year-old British boxer, however, had tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug clomiphene in August.
Abu Dhabi has been a favourite venue of top-flight boxing matches and other contact sport events, but the Pacquiao-Benn bout certainly promises to be a bigger thriller for boxing aficionados, and Abu Dhabi’s fight fans are buzzing with excitement as the boxing legend finalises negotiations to fight in the city.
So boxing fans, mark your calendar and get ready for what could be the fight of the year!
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