Manny Pacquiao’s next fight is expected to take place in Japan for the well-known mixed martial arts promotion Rizin. With the opponent still undecided, we offer up three options and take a look back at his exhibition bout against DK Yoo.
Who could Manny Pacquiao’s next fight be against?
Following his loss to welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas in 2021 and a jump into the exhibition fights in 2022, “Pacman’s” opponent options are endless at this point in his athletic career. That is why bouts against Tenshin Nasukawa, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Patricio “Pitbull” are likely for his debut fight in Rizin.
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- Tenshin: Nasukawa was the man who welcomed Mayweather Jr. to Rizin in 2018. Maybe the kickboxing superstar could do the same for Pacquiao in a boxing bout with MMA gloves.
- Money: With money having a two-bout history with Rizin and a rematch with Pacquiao long being rumored, a runback of their 2015 clash in an exhibition fight could happen in Japan in 2023.
- Pitbull: Rizin and fellow MMA promotion Bellator have a strong relationship. One of the more interesting bouts that could be made is to have “Pacman” face the best fighter either promotion can offer at a reasonable weight in Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
Manny Pacquiao vs DK Yoo recap
In December, Manny Pacquiao took part in an exhibition showcase against Korean martial artist DK Yoo that was a matchup of low-risk and all entertainment for a packed crowd at the Seoul Arena in Seoul, South Korea.
What happened: Pacquiao vs. Yoo was a fight made to give South Korean boxing fans a chance to see the combat sports legend in person. Neither man seemed to really be looking to hurt the other during their six-round bout, as the matchup quickly turned into a glorified sparring contest.
The fallout: Clearly, the fight was a money-making opportunity for Pacquiao and Yoo. It was meant to be a fun highlight on the South Korean sports calendar and a chance for the eight-division champ to get his feet wet in exhibition fight fair.
The roadmap: With a deal to compete in Rizin, look for the risk of losing to intensify for Pacquiao as he tries to make Asia a source for big fights again in the last few years of his athletic career.
What makes Manny Pacquiao so popular?
Pacquiao has become a sports icon because of his rags-to-riches story of rising up from a life of poverty to becoming one of the most famous athletes on the planet. His blinding hand speed, uncanny power, and unorthodox footwork made him a perennial pound-for-pound star for many years. He has also transitioned into being a major political figure in his homeland. First by serving in the Filipino house of representatives and then by being elected to the Senate in 2016.
- Manny Pacquiao record: 62-8-2 (39 knockouts)
The pugilistic ‘Pacman’
- Pacquiao is the only eight-division world champion in boxing history. Starting his career competing at 108 pounds (light-flyweight), and fighting as high as 147 pounds (welterweight)
- During his career, he defeated legendary boxers in Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Erik Morales, and Marco Antonio Barrera
- Pacquiao’s 2015 bout against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. was the highest-grossing fight of all time. Scoring 4.6 million PPV buys and grossing over $410 million.
Manny the politician
- In 2013, Pacquiao was elected to the house of representatives as a congressman in his home province of Sarangani
- During that time, he donated a great deal of his own money to help uplift the province. Which is one of the poorest in the country and has a poverty rate of 45%
- In 2016, he earned over 16 million votes and was elected to one of the government’s 12 senate seats
- In 2021 he announced plans to attempt to become the next president of the Philippines. However, the sports icon never came close to landing the country’s top political job
- In September of 2022, Pacquiao made his first foray into the growing space of legendary fighters in exhibition bouts. Competing against multi-discipline martial artist DK Yoo
Manny Pacquiao’s net worth
Money is often one of the greatest measuring sticks for a fighter’s success. As of 2021, Pacquiao’s net worth is estimated to be as much as $375 million.