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MANILA, Philippines – Boxing legends Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will meet once again inside the squared circle, although this time, in an exhibition match.
More than eight years since their highly anticipated match in Las Vegas, Pacquiao alluded to the new event during an in-ring announcement as a guest of the Rizin Fighting Federation’s New Year’s Eve event in Saitama, Japan.
“I’m sorry for the last time that we promised that I was going to fight this year, like Sakakibara-san (Rizin chief executive officer Nobuyuki Sakakibara) explained,” said Pacquiao.
“[In 2024], I hope to see you in Japan again with a big fight against Floyd Mayweather,” he added.
Mayweather prevailed over Pacquiao via unanimous decision during the so-called “Fight of the Century” in May 2015, with the American pugilist being able to unify the WBC, WBA, and WBO welterweight titles.
That bout broke pay-per-view records with about 4.6 million subscribers, nearly doubling the previous record of 2.48 million buys generated by the Oscar de la Hoya-Mayweather bout in 2007.
Since Pacquiao and Mayweather stepped away from professional boxing in 2021 and 2017, respectively, the two have been involved in exhibition bouts.
Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, last fought against South Korean YouTuber DK Yoo, winning the bout via unanimous decision in the six-rounder in December 2022.
He is set to face muay thai legend Buakaw Banchamek in another exhibition bout in April.
Mayweather, who finished his career spotless at 50-0, last fought John Gotti III in Sunrise, Florida, last June 11, where referee Kenny Bayless called for the bell.
It led to a ring invasion by both sides’ entourages, with melees breaking out after. – Rappler.com