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Home » Manny Pacquiao threatened by KO1 in warm-up for WBC title shot

Manny Pacquiao threatened by KO1 in warm-up for WBC title shot

Manny Pacquiao will warm up for a potential shot at the WBC welterweight title with an exhibition in Japan on Super RIZIN 3.

Pacquiao will engage with RIZIN champion Chihiro Suzuki in an exhibition match on July 28 at the Super Saitama Arena in Saitama, Japan. The boxing legend met with his confirmed opponent on Sunday at a press conference staged by RIZIN boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara.

Suzuki proudly showed off his title belts and warned Pacquiao that he wouldn’t be taking it easy on fight night.

“With all due respect, I’m going to knock you out in the first round,” said the current RIZIN Featherweight champion and KNOCK OUT Black super lightweight champion. Pacquiao responded: “I will let him know that boxing is harder than MMA.”

The fight will represent Pacquiao’s return to combat before a WBC welterweight title fight with Mario Barrios in the fall. The fight WBN first exclusively revealed on June 1 is currently in talks that could be concluded by the end of the month.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman Barrios coach Bob Santos are both on board, as they told World Boxing News in exclusive interviews.

“If the WBC receives a petition for Manny Pacquiao to fight for the welterweight title, it would naturally go through a vote of the board,” Sulaiman informed WBN. “There are important precedents in this regard, like Sugar Ray Leonard fighting Marvin Hagler after passing successfully all his medicals.”

Santos told WBN: “I think it’s great anytime your name can be mentioned with Manny Pacquiao. That’s always a good thing.”

“I think it would be a tremendous fight for the fans. Pacquiao always keeps himself in great shape, as does Barrios. Styles make fights and I think it would be a tremendous fight. The one thing about Pacquiao is that he always keeps himself in great shape. Never see him overweight; therefore, guys like him can last a long, long time.”

“I really don’t know. That’s up to the WBC. As far as work is concerned, there’s no two ways about it. We are the WBC champion, and that’s how we see it. [Terence] Crawford [WBC Champion in Recess] is now competing at 154, and we are the champ at 147.

“The one thing Mario Barrios is always about is challenges. He’s always looking for the best possible challenges, and that’s what he’ll continue to be about. He’s looking for the best possible fights,” he concluded.

Suzuki is up first for Pacquiao in his promised RIZIN appearance. Floyd Mayweather could be next under the promotional banner for the Filipino superstar at another RIZIN show on New Year’s Eve.

The “Pac-Man” announced his intentions to face Mayweather in a rematch on a RIZIN bill in October last year. Whether that’s still the case seems to be up to Mayweather.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.