One of the most revered boxing icons of the generation, Manny Pacquiao is considering a return to professional boxing. The Phillipines senator had previously announced his retirement in August last year, which saw curtains fall to an outstanding career in this sport. However, he is not keen on letting things go as yet.
Pacquiao is reportedly set to lock horns with his former sparring partner Jaber Zayani in Riyadh. This exhibition contest could be 73rd fight of his career, but as it stands, the report has only been published in Elite Sport Athlete and is yet to receive confirmation from the boxer’s team.
The Saudi magazine also confirmed that the tentative date for the bout could be in 2023, nearly two years after Pacquiao’s last battle. The same publication has mentioned that the deal has been signed last monday by the boxer, and making it official is a matter of time.
The 43-year-old, winner of 12 world titles and the only boxer to win across eight different weight divisions, was keen on contesting the Presidential elections. He has been a senator in the country since 2016, and came close to becoming the President in May this year. However, he lost the elections to Bongbong Marcos.
One of his most famous bouts came against another legend of the generation, Floyd Mayweather, back in 2014, which was revered as the “Fight of the century”. Although Mayweather won the contest, many critics believed that Pacquiao was hard-done by the judgement.
In July 2019, he became the oldest player to win the welter-weight championship and throughout his careers, his fights had generated in excess of $1.2 billion. His return after announcing retirement could attract plenty of eyes and if the event does transpire, the organizers will try to ensure they reap the most benefits out of it.
Apart from Boxing, he has also starred in a few films and is a professional basketball player. He was the head coach of Kia/Mahendra team from 2014-2017 in the Phillipines Basketball Association (PBA).