- Manny Pacquiao is reportedly making his Rizin debut soon and will face Japanese pro wrestler Kota Ibushi
- The 44-year-old previously said he aims to fight Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr., or Floyd Mayweather
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is edging closer to his highly-anticipated Rizin debut. A new report from Tokyo said he will be facing Japanese pro wrestler Kota Ibushi.
Sooner Rather than Later
Shortly after Ibushi was reportedly offered a fight with Pacquiao, news broke stating the fight is now being discussed by all parties involved, primarily Rizin. It was also noted that the Pacquiao vs. Ibushi boxing match is still “in the preliminary stages” but is “expected to be finalized in the coming weeks,” Tokyo Sports reported.
Should everything goes well, Pacquiao is evidently coming in as the more experienced boxer as Ibushi has zero boxing experience to his name. Instead, he is a pro wrestling star in Japan who was reportedly scouted by All Elite Wrestling last year.
With that in mind, the report suggests that this could ultimately lead to Rizin and other governing bodies of the event to set up a special set of rules for Pacquiao vs. Ibushi.
Looking for an epic return
Pacquiao signed with Rizin just before the year 2022 ended and announced that he will be fighting under the promotion this year. The agreement between Rizin and Pacquiao took place just a few weeks after the Filipino boxing icon earned a unanimous decision win over DK Yoo in their exhibition match in South Korea.
Apart from a fight under Rizin, Pacquaio previously said he will be making a boxing comeback and work his way back to world championships. The 44-year-old confirmed that a fight with Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr., and a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is still on his drawing board.
Pacquiao officially ended his retirement when he faced DK Yoo. He last fought professionally in boxing in 2021 in which he suffered a devastating unanimous decision loss to Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas.
Whatever happens to his future plans, Pacquiao will easily go down in history as one of the greatest boxers of all time, having won an array of world titles in multiple weight classes. He is the world’s only eight-division titlist with remarkable wins over the best boxers of his generation such as Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, and Shane Mosley.