SEOUL, South Korea — Japan could be a target stop for the Manny Pacquiao roadshow.
After strutting his stuff here by putting Korean mixed-martial arts expert DK Yoo in his proper place, Pacquiao might end up bringing his act to the Land of the Rising Sun if he decides to continue engaging in the trendy exhibition matches.
“He’s been friends with the guys at RIZIN,” US boxing man Sean Gibbons said on Monday.
RIZIN is a promotional outfit that successfully stages Floyd Mayweather’s special fights.
Pacquiao made his debut doing exhibitions on Sunday by outpointing Yoo in six rounds at the KINTEX in the neighboring city of Goyang.
Pacquiao floored Yoo once but he came close a few times from scoring a stoppage.
Yoo looked willing to be rescued but the Korean referee decided to let the bout continue, giving Pacquiao all the reason to inflict more punishment.
Though Pacquiao landed some heavy shots, those were obviously not thrown with the baddest of intentions.
Pacquiao, whose last professional outing was more than 16 months ago in Las Vegas, opted to focus on body attack rather than head-hunting, thinking he could put Yoo in serious trouble.
“That was a baptism of fire for Yoo,” Gibbons exclaimed.
Yoo outweighed Pacquiao by more than 12 pounds and while he managed to land some punches, the retired Filipino great absorbed them without hesitation.
In the end, Pacquiao said his body craved for more action because each round only had two minutes unlike in the pros when each round lasted three minutes.
“Medyo nabitin ako,” Pacquiao, who turns 44 this weekend, said after his much-awaited first fight in a crossover bout.
It’s clear you haven’t seen the last of Pacquiao in the ring.