Manny Pacquiao continues to be linked with facing a controversial pair of British welterweights in what many consider a blatant publicity stunt.
The legendary Filipino master retired in 2021 and is now 44. But having just one fight in four years hasn’t deterred a couple of UK promoters from attempting to entice Pacquiao back.
Kell Brook, who was stitched up and shamed on the back of a tabloid newspaper releasing footage of him snorting cocaine, is reportedly eyeing a comeback.
Ban Shalom, the last promoter to put on a Brook fight, says the Sheffield man wants at least one more bout. However, Brook recently admitted he needs help coping with life after boxing and has suffered mental health problems.
Manny Pacquiao comeback fight
It sounds like the last thing Brook needs would be a fight with Manny Pacquiao. He needs to get the help required before even considering lacing up the gloves.
The whole scenario seems like Shalom and Sky Sports are putting the feelers out to the fans. The response hasn’t been entirely positive.
Conor Benn is the other. The welterweight failed two drug tests weeks apart for the same substance and has yet to clear his name.
Handler Eddie Hearn is adamant the fight can happen in Saudi Arabia even though the British Boxing Board of Control states Benn should not be sanctioned to box until he provides evidence of the contamination he claims is present in this case.
Pacquiao manager Sean Gibbons commented on the situation to IFL TV, stating everything was still pie in the sky.
“You know, it’s [Pacquiao fighting Benn] been mentioned, along with Kell Brook,” said Gibbons. “A few other fighters mentioned Manny possibly fighting in Abu Dhabi.
“But again, Conor Benn has a situation he has to clear up first. In the meantime, Manny’s just staying active, staying ready.
“He has a lot left to give and wants to fight a little more still. So I hope Conor Benn gets his issues cleared up.”
Brook and Benn’s predicaments
On Brook, Gibbons added: “If not, Kell Brook, if not, whoever the fight fans would like to see Manny [fight].
“People still want to see Manny Pacquiao. Like Mayweather, Manny, and all these guys, he’s a legend.
“So, to answer your question, it’s all up in the air,” he concluded.
Those comments lead many boxing fans to be skeptical that any fight is in the offing. It sounds more like promoters trying to keep their fighters relevant than Pacquiao stepping back into the ring with a live contender [Benn] at his age.
Pacquiao last fought against a combat YouTuber without hardly training. So he would need a long time to prepare for anything other than an exhibition.
It’s hard to see how either Been or Brook would benefit from an event like that before sorting out their respective predicaments.