Manny Pacquiao Eyes WBC Welterweight Crown In Potential Fight W/ Barrios

Manny Pacquiao Wants WBC Welterweight Crown in Comeback Challenge

Manny Pacquiao – Former professional boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao wants WBC welterweight crown in potential fight with WBC welterweight titlist Mario Barrios.

Manny Pacquiao retired from professional boxing in August 2021. He will face Japanese  kickboxing and MMA champion Chihiro Suzuki on July 28 as part of the Super Rizin 3 fight card.

Based on a report from Philstar, Pacquiao emphasizes that his three-round match against Suzuki in Saitama on July 28 is a “serious fight, not an exhibition.” However, it seems he is also preparing to challenge the newly crowned WBC welterweight champion Mario Barrios by the end of the year.

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📷: South China Morning Post

Sean Gibbons, head of MP Promotions, confirmed yesterday that the Saitama fight is set and that discussions for a bout with Barrios are ongoing. “Manny’s first world title was with WBC and he’d like to end his career with another WBC title, going full circle,” Gibbons said. “It’s paying respect to WBC. You know Manny, he loves to fight and he’ll give his 100 percent in the ring. This would be his legacy fight if it happens.”

Pacquiao, 45, has not fought in a “real” bout since losing the WBA welterweight title to Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas in 2021. He returned to defeat MMA fighter DK Yoo in a six-round exhibition in South Korea the following year. He was scheduled to face Muay Thai legend Buakaw Banchamek in a six-round exhibition in Bangkok on April 20, but the fight was canceled.

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According to the report, Barrios, 29, was the WBC interim welterweight champion for nine months before being promoted to full champion recently. Terrence Crawford, whom he succeeded, has been designated champion “in recess” while he attempts to win the WBA super welterweight title from Israil Madrimov on August 3. Barrios has a 29-2 record with 18 KOs, his only losses being to Pacquiao’s former opponent Keith Thurman (by points) and Gervonta Davis (by KO). Barrios’ advantages include his height, reach, and youth—he is six feet tall with a 71-inch wingspan. Pacquiao is 5’5 1/2″ with a 67-inch reach, but his experience is a significant advantage. Barrios has never faced a legend like Pacquiao.

“Barrios is a solid, quality fighter who beat Ugas,” said Gibbons. “I think he’s easy to hit and he’ll play to Manny’s ball game. It’s a winnable fight for Manny. When asked about Manny’s chances against Crawford, experts were mum. But when asked about Manny’s chances against Barrios, they’re fine. Now, let’s find out if there’s a promoter out there willing to stage it.”

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