Manny Pacquiao and Buakaw Banchamek are set to face each other in an intriguing exhibition boxing match in the first quarter of 2024. The fight was promoted in Bangkok, Thailand, on July 21, where both fighters expressed their gratitude to Vinij Lertratanachai, Fresh Air Festival, Buakaw’s team, and LOL International for their support.
The event, dubbed “The Match of Legend,” has been organized by show promoter Vinij Lertratanachai.
Manny Pacquiao, aged 44, last fought in August 2021, resulting in a unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas. Meanwhile, Buakaw Banchamek, aged 41, fought most recently in May 2023, where he had a draw with Rukita Anpo at Rizin 42 in Japan.
The exhibition match is expected to be a lucrative one, with a reported purse of $25 million. However, it’s not yet known how the money will be divided.
Pacquiao vs Buakaw will consist of six rounds of boxing, with each round lasting three minutes and two-minute breaks in-between. Both fighters will compete at 154lbs (70kg), which corresponds to the super welterweight division in boxing and junior middleweight in Muay Thai.
The fight will be held under international boxing rules approved by the World Boxing Council (WBC). Hence, Buakaw will be limited to using only his hands, presenting a new challenge for the Thai fighter accustomed to employing elbows, knees, and kicks in Muay Thai.
As of now, it hasn’t been officially confirmed whether the bout will be classified as professional or exhibition, so it remains uncertain if it will be recorded on the fighters’ official records as a loss or victory.
The specific details regarding the venue, date, broadcasting, and other finer points of the event have not been finalized and disclosed yet but there will be a ‘WBC Legend Belt’ on the line for the winner, adding a touch of prestige to the exhibition.
This exhibition match promises to be a fascinating clash between two seasoned fighters from different combat sports backgrounds, making it an exciting prospect for fans and spectators eagerly waiting for the event.
A warm-up for Pacquiao vs Khan?
Is the Buakaw fight a warm-up for a real boxing match against a real boxer later in 2024? Pacquiao is considering one final fight to cap off his illustrious 28-year, 72-fight career. And Amir Khan, who retired from professional boxing in May 2022, has announced his potential return to the ring. And according to him, the fight is not a minor one; it’s going to be a super fight.
While he hasn’t disclosed the opponent’s name yet, he mentioned that it’s one of the biggest names in boxing, and the fight has been a topic of discussion for quite some time.