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10 Sep, 2022 13:24

Pacquiao in talks to come out of retirement

The Filipino boxing great should return to the ring in 2023
Pacquiao in talks to come out of retirement

January 2023 could see retired all-time boxing great Manny Pacquiao return to the ring, according to the fighter himself.

Breaking numerous records in a storied career that saw him become an eight-division champion, Pacquiao hung up his gloves in August 2021 after losing a unanimous decision to then-WBA welterweight king Yordenis Ugas, who has since lost the strap to Pacquiao's intended opponent that evening in Errol Spence.

Over a year on from that defeat, 43-year-old Pacquiao is in talks to take on his former sparring partner Jaber Zayani, who boasts an unblemished 18-0 record, in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

"We will just start discussions," Pacquiao explained to the AFP news agency from Zayani's homeland France.

Pacquiao making a foray into exhibition fights would see him follow in the footsteps of former rival Floyd Mayweather, who has taken part in several of them since retiring from boxing in 2017.

After facing a former sparring partner of his own in Don Moore in May, Mayweather will meet Japanese MMA fighter Mikuru Asakura later in September.  

Pacquiao is already booked for a charity fight in South Korean capital Seoul on December 10 where he will do battle against local YouTuber DK Yoo to aid victims of the military operation in Ukraine.

"I will prepare in the same way I train for a real fight," Pacquiao vowed, while previously making it clear that the days of sanctioned fights in the paid professional ranks for the pugilist-turned-politician are over.