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Manny Pacquiao to challenge Mario Barrios for WBC title

In a shocking turn, WBC world interim welterweight champion Mario Barrios is in talks with Manny Pacquiao for a title fight in August.

Retired multiple world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines poses during a photo session at the end of a press conference at a hotel in Tokyo on June 10, 2024. Boxing great Manny Pacquiao said June 10 that he is in negotiations to make a comeback but cautioned that a potential world title fight against Mario Barrios was "far away". (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

As the old saying goes, all things old are new again. Mike Tyson is fighting at 60 years old. Evander Holyfield has impressed with leaked sparring videos. And now, Manny Pacquiao may be fighting for a title.

Manny Pacquaio’s team are in negotiations with Mario Barrios’ team for a shot at the WBC world interim welterweight title. The Filipino multi-weight champion has not fought since a points loss against Yordenis Ugás in August 2021. At 45 years old, Pac-Man still has an itch to scratch. Something in the basement. He wants to go out on top.

His agent Sean Gibbons confirmed, “Manny is looking at that option to fight Mario Barrios. He loves the idea of finishing his career by winning the WBC title. That was his first belt way back. So over the next two weeks, we are going to try to make the fight.”

The WBC title was vacated by Terence Crawford due to inactivity and Barrios became the interim champion by taking down the man who ended Pacquiao’s career, Ugás, dropping him twice in the bout. Successfully defending the interim title against Fabian Maidana, Barrios is 29-2 and in the middle of a rebuild following losses to Keith Thurman and Gervonta Davis.

Manny was a senator in the Philippines until 2022 and is the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing. The first to win lineal championships in four different weight classes, and the only champion to cross four decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s), Pacquiao is looking to add to his impressive trophy case.

Manny is set to compete against Japanese MMA fighter Chihiro Suzuki on July 28 at the Super Rizin.3 event.

Already the oldest welterweight champion in history, when he defeated Keith Thurman at the age of 40, Pac-Man would push that limit up by five years with a win now at 45. He has nothing left to prove, being almost untouchable at the top of the all-time great list. But that isn’t how it works with fighters. Fighters fight. And Manny Pacquiao is a born fighter.