Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has announced his intentions to return to the ring in an exhibition-style match-up this year.
Rather than battling a fellow welterweight star, the Filipino Senator will disregard boxing to participate in a showdown against an MMA competitor.
Confirming his intentions after weeks of speculation, Pacquiao will use some of the vast monies on offer to fight Conor McGregor to help his fellow countrymen and women.
“They’re my options, but right now, I want to experience fighting an MMA [mixed martial artist],” said Pacquiao, according to Business Mirro.
“I will also donate a big portion of my income to Filipino Covid-19 victims.”
Pacquiao’s intentions are a blow to Errol Spence, Terence Crawford, and many other boxers who hoped to share the ring with the WBA champion.
Just this weekend, lightweight star Ryan Garcia outlined his desire to battle Pacquiao, something that won’t be happening anytime soon.
“That’s the dream,” Garcia explained on a trip to Mike Tyson’s podcast with reporter Elie Seckbach.
“With Manny, it’s like he’s the Legend. It would be like passing it down to me in the most humbling way.
“I don’t want it to come out as disrespectful. If I were to beat Manny Pacquiao, he passes it on. I take whatever he did (titles in eight weights and transcending the sport). I try to push it.
“Manny knows my respect for him. “People love Manny because he fights with his heart. He does it to inspire people.
“You don’t even have to tell people to respect him. They do as he has more than a country supporting him.”
McGregor will be pleased about the outcome but has to come through a rematch with Dustin Poirier later this month to secure the fight fully.
A loss would be catastrophic and certainly, put any clash with Manny Pacquiao in jeopardy.
Deciding to go down the Floyd Mayweather route of a ‘special exhibition’ does come as some surprise for many, as Pacquiao was expected to box in a huge Pay Per View before winding down his career against McGregor.
It now seems like the WBA welterweight crown will be cast aside for Pacquiao to make megabucks against the outspoken Irishman.
Expect a big PPV price.