Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has revealed more details about his upcoming fight under the Japanese MMA promotion company Rizin.
Pacquiao announced that he signed a one-fight deal with Rizin during the company’s New Year’s Eve event at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Speaking to local media after the surprise announcement, the 44-year-old fighter hinted that there could be more after the first bout.
“Yes, boxing [rules]. One time, but it’s not the last [Rizin fight],” Pacquiao told reporters. “There’s great action and great fights in Rizin. The atmosphere of the crowd is amazing.”
According to Pacquiao, his Rizin debut is scheduled for around the summertime in Japan. He noted that he intends to do more exhibition matches this year.
Pacquiao also denied rumors that a rematch with Floyd Mayweather is in the works, revealing that he is likely to face one of Rizin’s MMA fighters for his first fight instead.
“My plan today is one at a time. So let’s finish first this commitment with Rizin, and then we can talk about [a potential Floyd Mayweather rematch after],” he said.
The eight-division boxing world champion explained that while he still has no idea who his next opponent will be, he is ready to fight “anybody, as long as he has experience in boxing or knows how to throw punches.”
Pacquiao, who retired from boxing in 2021 to focus on his bid for the Philippine presidency, returned to the ring in December for an exhibition match against South Korean YouTuber and mixed martial artist DK Yoo in Goyang, South Korea.
Comparing his last match to his upcoming fight under Rizin, Pacquiao pointed out that Yoo “was a martial artist that doesn’t know about boxing at all.”
“But this next exhibition match here in Japan, this is different because I think probably my opponent is a professional MMA fighter who knows how to punch,” he added.