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Thrilla in Thailand — Pacquiao, Buakaw set April 2024 encounter


Having fought in 280 Muay and kickboxing wars, Buakaw has fought extensively around Europe and also was a familiar fixture in Japanese and Chinese rings.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Viva Promotions Eight-division legend Manny Pacquiao (left) and Thai kickboxing icon Buakaw Banchamek collide in April 2024 at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok.

Manny Pacquiao gets to fight again for the first time in 16 months when he battles Thai kickboxing legend Buakaw Banchamek in a six-round exhibition but highly-competitive bout on 20 April at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok.

Unlike his match with Korean YouTube personality DK Yoo in Seoul in December 2022, this clash with Buakaw is expected to be action-packed be fought using standard boxing rules.

Having fought in 280 Muay and kickboxing wars, Buakaw has fought extensively around Europe and also was a familiar fixture in Japanese and Chinese rings.

In 2006, Buakaw fought and beat up Ole Laursen, who is partly Filipino, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Pacquiao, who lost to Yordenis Ugas of Cuba in 2021 in Las Vegas and retired shortly thereafter, turned 44 a few weeks ago.

Though already retired from the fight game for more than two years, whipping himself into fiery form for Buakaw should pose no problem given his fine work rate.

He plays basketball all the time and exercises on a regular basis, shadowboxes and reports to the gym to occasionally hit the mitts.

By the time he announced his retirement, Pacquiao had logged a win-loss-draw 62-8-2 record with 39 knockouts in a Hall of Fame career that kicked off in 1995.

In a 26-year career, Pacquiao fought and beat over 20 world champions, including Oscar De La Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Keith Thurman, Ricky Hatton and Juan Manuel Marquez.

While he has retired from boxing, Pacquiao is open to make a ring return especially if a matchup with Floyd Mayweather can be arranged.

Mayweather defeated Pacquiao in their megabuck matchup in May 2015 in Las Vegas.

But unlike Yoo, Buakaw is someone not to be messed with.

Besides, the fight is going to happen on enemy territory and Pacquiao has to relive his magical 1998 one-punch knockout win to bag the world fly crown to help him get past Buakaw.


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