Former Eight division Manny Pacquiao will begin preparations for his ring return, having signed up for an exhibition bout with French Boxer Jana Zayani, scheduled for a date in February 2022 in Saudi Arabia.
The news first reported by the Manila Times, has it the 43 year old and the Frenchman had the contract signed in his home last week in Makati City Philippines.
The fight will take place at King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and will be fought with eight ounce gloves. The Bout will be Pacquiao’s second appearance in the squared circle after his one sided unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas in August last year.
Pacquiao seems to be following the footsteps of former rival Floyd Mayweather, who has been fighting exhibitions, most recently getting involved with the Paul Brothers, the only exhibition he failed to decisively emerge victorious.
Before the fight with Zayani, Pacquiao will first share the ring with Korean YouTuber DK Yoo on the 10th of December in Seoul.
Zayani is presently undefeated with a record of 18 wins and 11 knockouts. Both has had some history in the past, having helped the Philippines star and Senator prepare as a sparring partner for his fight with Keith Thurman back in 2019.
Zayani is happy the fight is finalised, claiming he was personally involved in the negotiations and has promised to give the senator the his best and expects nothing but the best performance from the Senator.
“I personally negotiated with the senator together with my team and after months of talks, we finally agreed to a face off next year. He already signed the contract so it is a go,” said Zayani to the paper.
“Call it an exhibition or something but when the senator signed the deal, I told him to prepare well because I’m going to give him a real fight. He then told me, ‘you better be prepared’
“I was honest with the senator that I’m looking at this as my biggest break which I will surely maximize. I aim to create a buzz and become a household name. Sure, the organizers are calling this an exhibition but for me, it’s a chance to exhibit my talent as a future world champion. That’s going to be a December Samgyup party for the senator but once he meets me inside the right, he’s going to get French toasted.”
Pacquiao’s status in Boxing is definitely undisputed, having stated his career at flyweight and ending his career at Welterweight, retiring after a world title fight last year and has competed at the very pinnacle of each division since ever clinching his first world title. Before his retirement, the Filipino Senator was able to win world titles in eight divisions and is most definitely a future Hall of Famer.
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