Manny Pacquiao is not officially out of retirement despite reports the eight-weight boxing legend is actively seeking opponents.
A three-strong shortlist of boxers hit the internet alongside several news stories outlining that Pacquiao was back on the professional roster.
However, World Boxing News can exclusively reveal this is not entirely the case. Trusted sidekick Sean Gibbons told WBN that Pacquiao is merely open to offers and has to wait for a massive decision on his Olympic dream in March.
Manny Pacquiao retirement
If the Philippine Olympic Committee cannot secure their superstar entrant a place, a professional fight could follow later in the year. Pacquiao remains in retirement until a suitable contract comes his way.
“Pac-Man” is already committed to an exhibition against Muay Thai veteran Buakaw Banchamek on April 20. That’s despite Chadd Collins, penciled in to fight on the bill, claiming it was off.
“Some bad news. I was matched as the semi-main event to the Pacquiao vs Buakaw event on April 20. But unfortunately, it’s been confirmed that the promotion is not moving forward.
“The hardest part is that I was matched to defend my WBC World Title against a great fighter, Michael Savvas – a legend and a good mate. I was really looking forward to it, as I’m struggling to tie down top-shelf opponents for later in the year. There are a lot of people that don’t want to fight me!
“Hopefully, this is not the end of it, and Michael and I can square off at a later time,” he stated.
Fresh Air Festival, organizers of Pacquiao vs Buakaw, denied the fight was off.
“Contrary to information circulating, ‘The Match of Legends’ has not been canceled. While discussions for the event date are ongoing, inaccurate reports have unfortunately surfaced suggesting its cancellation.”
So, Pacquiao will compete against Buakawk in the spring. According to Gibbons, he’ll know his fate regarding aiming for a gold medal in Paris 2024 by then.
If Manny Pacquiao was officially out of retirement, Gibbons told World Boxing News exclusively: “If the right opportunity comes up for Manny, we will look at it. But we are also waiting on the decision for the Olympics.
“We expect the decision to be made on Manny fighting at the Olympics in March. We will see if we can get that before making any decision on other fights.”
That’s six bouts lined up from now until August if Pacquiao gets accepted into the Olympic program for the summer. It’s undoubtedly a solid reason for Pacquiao to be cautious about confirming any professional retirement u-turn.
Phil Jay is an experienced boxing news writer and has been the Editor of World Boxing News since 2010.