It really does seem as though living legend Manny Pacquiao is following the “retirement” route his former rival Floyd Mayweather took, almost identically. 44 year old Pac Man was a guest of honor in Japan for the New Year’s Eve Rizin FF 40 show, this at the Saitama Super Arena near Tokyo. And after the show, Pacquiao got in the ring and announced how he will – like “Money” Mayweather before him – participate in a Rizin fight.
Standing next to Rizin FF president Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the eight-weight king of the ring announced his upcoming bout:
“A few months ago, I was here as a guest and today I have a very exciting announcement tonight,” Pac Man said. “I have agreed with Rizin to fight next year, the date will soon be announced and also my opponent that Rizin will choose. I’m open and excited to fight a Japanese fighter.”
It’s not yet clear if Manny’s bout will be a “real” fight or an exhibition affair, but the latter seems far more likely. Pacquiao has had some fun on the exhibition circuit and now, like Mayweather, who has had two fights, both exhibitions, under the Rizin banner, Pacquiao will fight for the big promotional company.
For a retired fighter, Pacquiao has been keeping himself pretty busy lately, what with his December bout with DK Yoo, talk of an exhibition bout with Australia’s Anthony Mundine, and now the Rizin fight. It remains to be seen whether Manny has signed on, or will sign on, for more than one bout under the Rizin banner.
It will also be interesting to see who Pacquiao winds up facing in Japan next year, and how much fan attention the bout gets. Mayweather twice picked up a bundle courtesy of his Rizin adventures and now Pac Man figures to do the same. No doubt, Pacquiao’s Rizin fight will go out as a pay-per-view offering. The word is the Pacquiao-Yoo fight, which went out for $20 bucks, didn’t do so well. How much will fans be asked to pay to watch Pacquiao’s Rizin debut?