Pacquiao ‘ready’ to fight Mayweather again in 2024
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao seeks to face rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch in 2024.
The former eight-division world champion on New Year’s Eve announced during the Rizin 45 mixed martial arts event in Saitama that he will have a “big fight” in Japan this year.
Rizin chief executive Nobuyuki Sakakibara revealed that Pacquiao will be facing Mayweather nine years after last facing each other in what was dubbed the “Fight of the Century.”
Sakakibara asked the Filipino boxer if he could fight Mayweather this year and the latter answered: “I’m ready.”
CEO Sakakibara: "Could you please fight against Floyd Mayweather?"
Manny Pacquiao: "I'm ready."
— RIZIN FF English (@rizin_English) December 31, 2023
“Thank you so much for inviting me here again. I’m sorry for the last time that we promised that we were going to fight this year, but like Sakakibara-san explained,” said Pacquiao, who had promised to have an exhibition match against a Japanese fighter during his 2022 New Year’s Eve appearance but it didn’t push through.
But the 45-year-old retired professional boxer promised something bigger to the Japanese crowd.
“[This] year I hope to see you here in Japan again with a big fight against …” said Pacquiao before Sakakibara quipped: “Floyd Mayweather.”
“Floyd Mayweather, yeah. I thought you didn’t want me to say that. But I’m excited for that. Thank you for always supporting Rizin, and thank you Sakakibara-san,” he added.
Both Pacquiao and Rizin didn’t disclose the full details of their possible rematch as Mayweather’s camp has yet to respond to the announcement as of posting time.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather’s bout was held in May 2015, which broke the pay-per-view records.
Mayweather beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision and unified the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, and World Boxing Organization welterweight championships.
The American boxer hung his glove unbeaten in 50 bouts in 2017, while Pacquiao retired three years ago when he decided to run as president in the May 9, 2022 elections but he lost.
Pacquiao last fought against South Korean YouTuber DK Yoo in his first exhibition match by unanimous decision in six rounds last December 2022.
The former senator has another exhibition set in April against Thai Buakaw Banchamek.
Mayweather already saw action in 10 exhibition matches but his last in June against John Gotti III ended up with an in-ring brawl.