Pacquiao said earlier this month that he was in negotiations to make a comeback to professional boxing after three years away.

Manny Pacquiao will now face a different fighter in his three-round exhibition match in Japan after the retired boxing great’s original opponent was ruled out by injury, organisers said Friday.

The 45-year-old multiple world champion from the Philippines was supposed to fight Chihiro Suzuki on July 28 in Saitama in a 68kg boxing bout of three rounds of three minutes each, with no judges’ decision.

But Suzuki was forced to withdraw after breaking his hand and will be replaced by fellow Japanese mixed martial artist Rukiya Anpo.

Pacquiao said earlier this month that he was in negotiations to make a comeback to professional boxing after three years away.

He said he was in talks to face American Mario Barrios for a possible WBC welterweight world title later this year, but cautioned that it was still “far away”.

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After hanging up his gloves, Pacquiao ran for the Philippines presidency but lost the May 2022 election by a huge margin.

He returned to the ring for an exhibition in Seoul in December 2022 against a South Korean YouTuber.

(AFP/Channels)