Manny Pacquiao Plotting Ring Return in 2023


Manny Pacquiao says he’ll be back in the ring this year not once but perhaps twice. 

He said he would come out of retirement to fight several fighters and mentioned the names of Errol Spence and Terrence Crawford. Spence has already said ‘No thanks’ while Crawford hasn’t expressed much interest in battling one of the sport’s greats. Manny’s last bout was of the exhibition variety when he defeated DK Yoo via unanimous decision in an exhibition in December.

Dream Duets

Two other names have been mentioned Pacquiao as one guy that they would like to fight.

Those two fighters are Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather. A fight against either wouldn’t be any worse than an Aaron Paul bout and would likely generate a big PPV payday.

But pie-in-the-sky matchmaking aside, there are two other names being mentioned as possible opponents for the former senator and world champion in eight different divisions.

He’s Benn around the block

Pacquiao is reportedly negotiating to fight Conor Benn in a welterweight bout this summer. The bout would be held in Saudi Arabia and negotiations are ongoing.

Benn has been out of the ring since April 2022. He almost made it through the ropes in October of that year, however news of a positive drug test had the fight pulled at the last minute.

He has proclaimed his innocence and recently claimed a victory in the form of a WBC verdict that found no signs of ‘intentional ingestion’ of a banned substance.  Benn still doesn’t have a British boxing license but he’s free to apply to fight elsewhere. It appears that’s exactly what he’ll do, potentially against eight-division champion, ‘Pac-Man’.

Benn’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, recently said that there was interest from the Middle East to stage the fight this summer. And it’s believed that an event has been penciled in for Abu Dhabi on June 3.

Nothing mundane about Mundine

Australian Anthony Mundine who began his career 22 years ago, has emerged as another possible candidate to fight Pacquiao. He’s a former WBA super middleweight and middleweight champion with a record of 48-11 with 28 knockouts. Mundine scored a knockout of Sugar Shane Mosley in 2013 and defeated Rigoberto Alvarez, brother of ‘Canelo’, in 2011. His career ended last year after losing his third fight in a row.

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