A press conference will be taking place next week to announce a fight between Buakaw Banchamek and Manny Pacquiao. While this has all the makings of a cheap publicity stunt it appears that both boxers will be attending the event in Bangkok.
The event is being billed as ‘The Match of Legend’ and a bout between Pacquiao and Buakaw has top billing. Fans of a cynical nature might have a few questions but the promoter in question has worked closely with the Thai legend in the past
Anyone and everyone
Pacquiao is probably the best boxer that Asia has ever produced. These days he is also an active politician and elected senator in the Philippines but that hasn’t stopped him from booking a couple of exhibition bouts.
Last December he fought YouTuber DK Yoo in South Korea. He was supposed to face Jaber Zayani in Saudi Arabia in February, although that bout never materialized, and has also signed with Rizin.
Pacquiao’s willingness to sign with absolutely anyone and everyone has come at a cost. He was ordered to pay $5.1 million to Paradigm Sports Management earlier this year after reneging on a deal he agreed with the agency that represents Conor McGregor, among others.
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While Buakaw is the best known Muay Thai fighter on the planet he is nowhere near as big a name as Pacquiao. He is also nowhere near as wealthy, the boxer is worth an estimated $200 million USD.
If A Korean YouTuber and self styled martial arts guru can secure an exhibition boxing match with Pacquiao then there is no reason why the most famous Muay Thai fighter in the world shouldn’t be able to do so too. But the last minute nature of this announcement will not help to convince cynical fight fans.
Buakaw is supposed to be fighting Saenchai PKSaenchaigym in a bare knuckle Muay Thai bout later this year. But the two men seem to be spending more time playing football together than training for an actual fight.
So anyone who is getting excited about the possibility of Pacquiao actually fighting Saenchai might want to take a few deep breaths. But the press conference is clearly happening, so we should find out what exactly is going on her next week.