RIZIN boss Nobu Sakakibara has apparently signed Manny Pacquiao following the decision by Floyd Mayweather to avoid a comeback.
Mayweather released a statement this weekend announcing his intention to stay retired, leaving Pacquiao disappointed.
Just hours later, Pacquiao was pictured on Sakakibara’s social media accounts and is now set to be part of a forthcoming show.
“I’m here in the Philippines (meeting with Manny Pacquiao),” said Sakakibara.
“Following Floyd Mayweather (fighting Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve) RIZIN.15 will do a new trick with this guy (Pacquiao).
“We will announce you soon after returning home, so please look forward to it!”
He then added: “RIZIN.15 will have this man involved in a way. We will be ready to announce as I get back to Japan!”
— NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA (@nobu_sakakibara) April 7, 2019
Pacquiao has been in the gym so a fight on the bill is not out of the realms of possibility. Also, Mayweather hardly trained at all when knocking out Tenshin in one round.
The ‘Money’ man dropped the Japanese kickboxer three times in Tokyo, earning $10 million for his trouble.
Prior to the confirmation by Sakakibara, Pacquiao was linked to a rematch with Mayweather. That was until the latter poured cold water on the idea.
“As of right now, I’m not fighting (Pacquiao or) anyone. I’m currently retired,” Mayweather told FightHype.com.
“People said that my dad talked about me fighting again. All the information that my dad gave was false.
“At the end of the day, if you hear anything, it’s not true. Like I told you the other day, if they didn’t hear it on FightHype or they didn’t see it on my social media page, it’s not true!”
At a loose end, Pacquiao had previously stated his desire to fight Mayweather again. The pair split a massive pot of cash after the most lucrative event of all time in May of 2015.
Having a rematch had projections of around $250 million, far lower than the first outing, but still enough to land Mayweather the nine-figure paycheck he craves.
Competing in the likes of RIZIN for far less cash seems to have appealed to Mayweather later in his career.
It remains to been seen if Pacquiao will follow suit.