Manny Pacquiao is in talks for a massive fight in Abu Dhabi against Conor Benn on June 3rd. The 44-year-old Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) is coming out of two-year retirement, and the 26-year-old Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) could be his first opponent in resuming his career.
Mike Coppinger is reporting the news of Pacquiao being in talks for a massive fight against the troubled British welterweight Benn, whose career has hit a stall after testing positive twice for the banned PED clomifene last year.
Benn no longer has a boxing license to fight in the UK, but he can still fight outside of the country, and he intends on doing so, be it against Pacquiao, Chri Eubank Jr, or Kell Brook.
Those are the three that Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn is exploring as options. Each one has drawbacks, so Hearn hasn’t come out and conclusively named the guy Benn will face in June.
“Pacquiao is engaged in talks for a welterweight fight against U.K. star Conor Benn. That fight is being eyed for June 3 in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E,” said Mike Coppinger to ESPN.
“We are in the process of selecting Conor Benn’s next opponent and have been in active talks with Manny Pacquiao’s team,” Hearn told ESPN.
“This fight [Benn] was presented to him by Eddie Hearn, and he agreed. The ball is in Eddie Hearn’s court. Pacquiao ready to go.”
Eubank Jr, a career domestic-level fighter, was knocked out in the fourth round by a faded 34-year-old former WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith last January.
It’s hard to know what the upside would be for Benn fighting Eubank Jr at this point other than trying to knock him out quicker than Smith did.
Kell Brook was an excellent fighter many years ago, but after suffering eye injuries in consecutive fights against Gennadiy Golovkin in 2016 and Errol Spence Jr in 2017, his career evaporated.
If Benn fights Brook, it’s similar to fighting Eubank Jr. There’s no gain and plenty to lose for Benn because as shot as Brook is, he’s probably still too good for Conor.
If Benn gets beaten by Brook, it will be near impossible to come back from the loss, and the money might not be good enough for a true cash-out to retire on.
With Pacquiao, it’s difficult to know if a fight between him and Benn would sell on PPV. It wouldn’t matter if the two make huge money from a massive site fee in Abu Dhabi.