Manny Pacquiao has shinned some light on the details of his next move in combat sports.
The boxing star and former multiple time champion opened up about what his move to Rizin FF consists of. On Saturday, during the Rizin FF vs. Bellator event in Japan, the promotion revealed that Pacquiao had signed with them and is expected to make his debut sometime in 2023. No further details were given until Pacquiao chatted with the media backstage.
“There’s great action, there’s great fights in Rizin, and the atmosphere of the crowd is amazing,” Pacquiao told reporters regarding his move to Rizin FF.
Pacquiao revealed that although Rizin is mainly an MMA promotion, he’s sticking to his sport, at least on an exhibition level.
“Yes, (the contract is) boxing, one fight, but it’s not the last time,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao is coming off an exhibition bout where he fought YouTuber DK Yoo in Seoul, South Korea. He won by unanimous decision.
Regarding who he could potentially face in his second exhibition bout following his retirement from professional boxing, Pacquiao said there’s yet to be a determined opponent. However, he believes his next foe will be an MMA fighter.
“It’s good to have an exhibition fight last December 11, and I’m excited and so happy,” Pacquiao said. “My opponent is martial art, who doesn’t know about boxing, so that’s why he experienced a hard time in the ring.
“But this next exhibition match here in Japan, this is different because I think probably my opponent is a professional UFC, MMA fighter, so he knows how to punch and of course to cover.”
Although a lot is still up in the air, the 44-year-old can assure he’s his Rizin FF bout won’t be his last. Pacquiao plans to continue fighting beyond his one-fight deal with Rizin FF.