Manny Pacquiao Rizin Deal: What We Know So Far
The big news of the week was that deal involving Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and Japanese mixed martial arts promotion Rizin. The partnership alone sends off mixed signals – the most potent of which is perhaps seeing the eight-time division champion following the footsteps of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
However, the mystery deal does not involve a cross-fight encounter between Pacquiao and any Japanese mixed martial artist. That is at least for now. Instead, Pacquiao will be making appearances (for now) as he lends support to a Filipino fighter named Fritz Aldin Biagtan. Biagtan will be facing Tenshin Nasukawa at Rizin 15.
Nasukawa needs no introduction. He is the same guy that Mayweather floored thrice last New Year’s Eve. Against Biagtan, kickboxing rules will apply and fought at a catchweight of 59 kilograms, Business Insider said.
Pacquiao and Mayweather are not the only big names in the fighting industry that Rizin as dealt with. Before the two future boxing hall of famers, Fedor Emelianenko and Gabrielle Garcia were also signed. Looking ahead, pundits may have an idea of things to come.
For Pacquiao, it is only normal to expect that the boxer-senator could eventually be seen in the ring against a mixed martial artist. One name that has been suggested is Takanori Gomi, a little-known and inexperienced MMA fighter.
Should that be in the cards, Rizin and Pacquiao may have to negotiate for a new contract. As mentioned by MMA Fighting, the 40-year-old pug’s contract is not a fighting contract. Hence, if Pacquiao is to consider fighting someone, expect a new round of talks and negotiations happening next.
If ever another cross fight happens in the future, it may be after Pacquiao’s scheduled July fight. Right now, the boxing icon is looking for an opponent for his next fight with Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia in the lead.
With a rematch against Mayweather unlikely to happen (for now), it seems the native of Saranggani Province has shifted his attention to boxers that would make it worth his while. His choice of opponent should be known soon although Thurman looms as a more interesting (but dangerous) foe for the Pac-Man.
In the meantime, it looks like Pacquiao is using his free time to train his son – Jimuel Pacquiao. Despite initially being against it, it looks like the boxer-senator has had a change of heart.
According to Manila Bulletin Sports, Jinkee Pacquiao shared on social media a video showing his husband Manny teaching Jimuel how to properly unload combinations. Could we be seeing the passing of the boxing torch?