It looks like there is a chance living legend Manny Pacquiao will fight Conor Benn next after all. As fans know, there was talk of the 44 year old all-time great coming back to fight the controversial British welterweight (who is still fighting to clear his name after failing two drugs tests ahead of last year’s big domestic fight with Chris Eubank Junior; Benn later having his British license taken away) – before Benn seemed to switch targets in getting the Eubank Jr fight back on.
Now, with Eubank Jr reportedly heading into a rematch with Liam Smith instead, Smith having stopped Eubank in four rounds back in January, Pacquiao is back in the frame for the Benn fight. Sean Gibbons spoke with Planet Sport, and the head of MP Promotions said Pacquiao has “agreed” to the fight with 26 year old Benn and that he is now waiting to hear back from Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
“Will he (Pacquiao) fight this year? You know what, Senator Manny Pacquiao has agreed to fight Conor Benn. Do me a favour, call Eddie Hearn. The ball is in hos court. Senator Manny Pacquiao is happy to fight Conor Benn. Agreed – please call Eddie Hearn,” Gibbons said. “You know, we are looking at a few different options. We are looking at things, we are trying to figure some stuff out so I hope something happens.”
Gibbons has also spoken of the possibility of Pacquiao returning to the ring to fight Kell Brook. It seems Pac Man does have the urge to fight again, as he said last month, he still loves boxing and he feels much younger than he actually is. If Eubank Jr does indeed fight Smith next, this will leave Benn needing an opponent. Maybe Benn could fight Brook. Or maybe we will indeed see Pacquiao fight Benn.
This fight is of course not to everyone’s taste and liking, but there would of course be plenty of fan interest if the fight did happen; most likely in the Middle East.
For the record, Pacquiao, 62-8-2(39) last boxed in August of 2021, when he was beaten by Yordenis Ugas. Benn, 21-0(14) last fought in April of 2022, when he stopped Chris Algieri.