Manny Pacquiao, one of the greatest boxers of all time, is plotting a surprise return to the sport. According to his MP Promotions, Pacquiao plans to come out of retirement for a fight against WBA Continental welterweight champion Conor Benn.
The talks about the fight are still ongoing, as Benn is also considering Kell Brook and Chris Eubank Jr. as potential opponents. If the two sides manage to get a deal done, the boxing match will take place in June in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., according to sources.
Pacquiao had his most recent fight in August 2021, when he lost to Yordenis Ugás in WBA (Super) welterweight title match. One month after the event, Pacquiao said that he was retiring from boxing in a lengthy video posted on social media.
After retiring from boxing, Pacquiao continued his political career in his native Philippines. Already having a seat in the Philippine Senate, he decided to run for the presidency in the 2022 Presidential Elections. He finished third in the elections.
Now, MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons says that Pacquiao actually stepped away from boxing so he could focus on his presidential campaign. But now the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing is ready to get back in the ring and believes he can still fight at a high level.
“Manny is an all-time great, and he feels like he still has a lot of fight left in him, and he still wants to compete at the highest level. And this fight [vs. Benn] was presented to him by [promoter] Eddie Hearn, and he agreed. The ball is in Eddie Hearn’s court. Pacquiao ready to go,” Gibbons told ESPN.