Manny Pacquiao, the eight-division champion, made a surprise appearance at the RIZIN 45 MMA event held at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. During his appearance, the Filipino star hinted at a potential rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., slated for a RIZIN card in 2024.
Addressing the enthusiastic crowd, Pacquiao expressed his anticipation for a showdown with Mayweather, stating,
"I hope to see you in Japan in a big fight against… Floyd Mayweather." He also expressed his excitement and gratitude for the support of RIZIN promotions.
Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the president of RIZIN, confirmed that negotiations for a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao rematch are underway for one of their upcoming events in the coming year. However, specific details about the fight have not yet been disclosed.
The anticipated rematch, likely to be an exhibition bout, has not been officially confirmed by Mayweather or his management team. The two boxing icons previously faced off in 2015 in what became one of the most financially successful events in combat sports history.
Mayweather emerged victorious in a twelve-round unanimous decision. The pay-per-view event, a collaboration between HBO and Showtime, garnered a record-breaking 4.6 million purchases, setting new benchmarks for revenue and PPV sales.
Following his retirement from boxing in 2021, Pacquiao has continued to make appearances in the ring, primarily in exhibition matches. Mayweather, who retired from professional boxing in 2017, has also participated in exhibition fights, including two events in Japan as part of RIZIN promotions.