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MANILA, Philippines — Eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is set to return to the ring for another exhibition bout.
Pacquiao will face muay thai icon Buakaw Banchamek in a boxing match slated in the first quarter of 2024, with the venue still to be announced.
“In what is being hailed as a monumental event, the upcoming boxing match is set to make history as two renowned fighters prepare to face off in a highly anticipated showdown,” said Vinij Lertratanachai, CEO of Fresh Air Co., Ltd, the organizer of the event.
“This eagerly awaited duel will showcase the skills and prowess of two world-class boxers,” he added.
Dubbed the “Match of Legends,” the showdown will feature six rounds, with the winner awarded a belt.
Organizers claim that they have earmarked a budget of up to US $25 million or around P1.4 billion.
The two faced off in Bangkok in a press conference held at ICONSIAM Park on Friday, July 21.
Pacquiao last fought in an exhibition match in December 2022 where he dominated Korean mixed martial artist DK Yoo for a unanimous decision win.
The Filipino boxing legend, 44, retired from professional boxing in 2021 following an upset loss to Yordenis Ugas, amassing 62 wins (29 knockouts), 8 losses, and 2 draws.
He then ran for the presidency in the May 2022 national elections where he ended up a distant third behind Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and former vice president Leni Robredo.
On the other hand, Banchamek, 41, is also a kickboxer who holds a record of 240 wins (73 knockouts), 24 losses, and 14 draws.
The Thai fighter is a former Thailand Featherweight champion, two-time K-1 World MAX champion, and 2011 and 2012 Thai Fight tournament champion. – Rappler.com