Manny Pacquiao’s legacy in boxing is unmatched – the only eight-division champion in the history of the sport and a catalogue of spellbinding performances against some of his fellow greats. Now, ‘Pac-Man’ is set to return to the ring, with a weight and date officially announced.
Pacquiao unofficially hung up the gloves in 2021 after suffering defeat to Yordenis Ugas in a challenge for the WBA Welterweight Title, a belt which he was stripped of just eight months prior.
Ever since, the Filipino phenomenon has been linked to exhibition fights against the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Amir Khan, as well as a potential professional bout against Conor McGregor.
However, Pacquiao’s opponent will be a name lesser known in the world of boxing, and more accustom to kickboxing and Muay Thai – Buakaw Banchamek.
Known as ‘The White Lotus’, Banchamek boasts a kickboxing record of 241-14-24, with seventy-three wins coming by way of knockout and is a two-time K-1 World MAX Champion. Despite his legendary status and vast experience across kickboxing and Muay Thai, the 41-year-old has no boxing experience.
The contest – set for April 20 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand – will be billed as ‘The Match of Legends’ and will consist of six three-minute rounds, with a two-minute break in-between each of them.
The weight limit is set at 154lbs super-welterweight and the winner will receive the WBC Legend Belt, as well as ten million baht.
The announcement comes just days after Conor McGregor openly revealed his desires to fight Pacquiao in Saudi Arabia, but he said that the weight proved to be a stumbling block for his dance-partner when he told the veteran to ‘grow some balls and fight him at a higher weight’.
McGregor weighed in at 153lbs when he faced Mayweather in his lone professional boxing contest, meaning a fight with Pacquiao may be possible down the line.