Manny Pacquaio is in talks to come out of retirement for a welterweight bout against Conor Benn, according to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger.
Pacquiao announced his retirement in August 2021, but Sean Gibbons, the president of Pacquiao’s promotions company, told ESPN on Tuesday that the 44-year-old plans to fight again.
The bout is being considered for June 3 in Abu Dhabi, sources told Coppinger. However, Benn, who hasn’t fought since April 2022, is reportedly considering Kell Brook or Chris Eubank Jr. as his next opponent over Pacquiao.
Pacquaio lost by unanimous decision to Yordenis Ugas in his last bout. He was originally supposed to fight Errol Spence Jr., but Spence suffered a detached retina during training and withdrew 11 days before the event. Pacquiao, a sitting senator in the Philippines at the time, announced his retirement shortly after the loss to focus on additional political aspirations.
“He retired for a minute to run for President of the Philippines, where he took a respectful third place,” Gibbons said, per Coppinger. “And after that, he felt that his retirement was due to running for president, and now that (he wasn’t elected), he wants to fight again and feels like he can do it at the highest level.
Pacquiao (68-8-2, 39 KOs) is one of the most decorated boxers in history, becoming the first to ever hold major world titles in four different divisions (flyweight, featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight).
The 26-year-old Benn (21-0, 14 KOs) is the son of British legend Nigel Benn. He was recently prohibited from fighting Eubank by the British Boxing Board of Control due to a positive test for the performance-enhancing drug clomiphene in August.
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