Nobuyuki Sakakibara recently visited Manny Pacquiao in Manila. The Rizin president has Floyd Mayweather fighting on an upcoming card it looks like he is trying to book the Filipino too.
Sakakibara shared a photo of him and Pacquiao on social media:
— NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA (@nobu_sakakibara) August 11, 2022
The accompanying caption reads,
“I went to Manila and met Pacquiao for the first time in three years! We had a very positive discussion about our future! Please look forward to it. I was treated to a meal at his home, it was a great house.”
This is not the first time that Sakakibara has travelled to the Philippines to meet with Pacquiao. In 2015 he shared a photo of himself with the boxer who even signed a contract:
— NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA (@nobu_sakakibara) April 7, 2019
But Pacquiao never actually fought for the Japanese promotion. He attended Rizin 15 as a special guest but never got involved in a competitive capacity.
So the fact that the two men have posed for a photo again does not mean Pacquiao will be competing on a Rizin card. But the promotion does have Mayweather booked for his second appearance.
He is going to fight Mikuru Asakura on September 25th. That is the date or Rizin 38 but Sakakibara has hinted that he might run two events that day with the Mayweather bout taking place on a separate card.
The Japanese promotion is certainly willing to think outside of the box when it comes to matchmaking. In 2018 Mayweather was matched with Tenshin Nasukawa in what turned out to be a brutal mismatch.
Afterwards he taunted Pacquiao on Mayweather claiming that he made $9 million USD for the fight which lasted less than three minutes:
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Mayweather described his bout with Tenshin as ‘an exhibition with a pizza delivery guy’. This is a bit harsh on one of the world’s best kickboxers but there is no question that it was a very easy night’s work for the boxer.
Pacquiao spent 129 million pesos ($6.4mn USD) on his presidential campaign. He finished third and could probably do with recouping some of that cash with a big pay day.
Mayweather is already booked for a Rizin card next month. Could Pacquiao be next?