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Desert storm — MP Promotions hatching blockbuster event


‘Pacquiao looks forward to a return to the ring in 2024.’

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Sean Gibbons Sean Gibbons (right) and Manny Pacquiao are looking forward to a blockbuster 2024 as they continue to hold deep talks in Tokyo.

Manny Pacquiao isn’t done yet.

The Filipino legend is willing to take on any of these three young guys: Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia or Devin Haney.

This was reported yesterday from Tokyo by American dealmaker Sean Gibbons, who heads the Pacquiao-owned MP Promotions.

Gibbons has spent the last seven days with Pacquiao, who arrived in Japan on 28 December.

“Pacquiao looks forward to a return to the ring in 2024… Would love to fight Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney,” Gibbons said as he and the Pacquiao family were strolling around Ginza.

The venue? Saudi Arabia.

The last couple of years, Saudi Arabia has been staging big boxing events as a message to the world that it is more than ready to rival the traditional sites in holding marquee matchups.

Last October, Tyson Fury got up from the floor and beat MMA star Francis Ngannou.

Just before 2023 came to a close, another show featuring some of the brightest names in the heavyweight division saw action.

After two shows, Saudi Arabia is showcasing another event on 17 February featuring Fury against Oleksandr Usyk in a heavyweight unification clash with the winner of the duel becoming the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.

“Saudi Arabia has emerged as a global powerhouse on the professional boxing landscape in 2023, with more to come in the new year,” wrote Cormac O’Donnel in the Arab News.

Last October, Gibbons accompanied Pacquiao, who turned 45 a few weeks ago, to Saudi Arabia to join a galaxy of stars mostly from boxing and from mixed martial arts for a fellowship night.

“They want Manny,” Gibbons said after witnessing the future Hall of Fame entrant, noting that an adoring Filipino audience from all over the oil-rich Middle East would converge in Riyadh just to see him fight.

“This is a way for them to watch him live, an opportunity for those who didn’t get to see him fight in the United States,” Gibbons added.

Just days into 2024, there seems to be a lot on Pacquiao’s plate.

A few days ago, his six-round exhibition match with Muay legend Buakaw Banchamek was announced for 20 April in Bangkok.

Then on New Year’s Eve, Pacquiao climbed the ring during an event by RIZIN, saying that he will be appearing in a big fight — mentioning Floyd Mayweather’s name — in 2024 in Japan.

And there’s also the 2024 Paris Olympics in July-August with the Philippine Olympic Committee knowing whether Pacquiao could represent the country sometime in March.

Indeed, things are looking up for Pacquiao.

No wonder, he and Gibbons are all smiles these days.

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