Manny Pacquiao set to make surprise return in WBC welterweight title fight against Mario Barrios | Boxing News

Manny Pacquiao is discussing a comeback fight against Mario Barrios for the WBC welterweight title at the age of 45.

The Filipino star, who is a multi-weight world champion, has not fought since a unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas in August 2021, and had announced his retirement the following month.

Pacquiao, a former world champion who retired in 2021, spoke in Japan on Monday to promote a three-round boxing exhibition on July 28 against Japanese MMA fighter Chihiro Suzuki.

“We’re still in under negotiation,” Pacquiao said of the possible Barrios fight for the WBC welterweight title. “And, we’re talking about that. The fight is not materialised yet. But that negotiation is ongoing.”

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Pacquiao had announced his retirement from boxing to focus on his political career

Pacquiao hinted any eventual fight would be in November or December, but says his mind was on Suzuki.

“I just want to say to everybody: This is not an exhibition. This is a fight, a three-round fight,” Pacquiao said.

“We will be looking for a knockout for this fight. So you better watch, and it’s going to be a lot of action in the ring. And, of course, I’ll do my best to win by knockout. Thank you.”

Suzuki knows he is up against a legend, saying: “In a way this is a challenge for me.

“It’s a real honour to be able to fight against someone who has made history, so I will face him with respect. For me, it’s one of the biggest challenges of my life and a test that I have to overcome.”

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Manny Pacquiao Promotions president Sean Gibbons confirmed Pacquiao is aiming to add one more title triumph to his lengthy list of career achievements.

“Manny is looking at that option to fight Mario Barrios,” Gibbons told Sky Sports.

“He loves the idea of finishing his career by winning the WBC title. That was his first belt way back.

“So, over the next two weeks, we are going to try to make the fight.”

Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao is aiming to secure one more world title triumph

The WBC title became vacant after Terence Crawford was made ‘champion in recess’ by the WBC due to his inactivity.

The Texas-based Barrios has a record of 29 victories, with 18 stoppages, and two defeats.

His most notable victory is a points win over Pacquiao’s conqueror Ugas in September 2023.

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