Manny Pacquiao is set to take on Kota Ibushi in Japan.
Yes, a recent report from Tokyo Sports indicates that the Boxing Hall of Famer, Pacquiao is set to match up with Kota Ibushi in his debut with the Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN.
RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara approached Kota Ibushi saying:
“Please come! In the world of professional wrestling in Japan, there are no wrestlers who are interested. If that happens, it would be great. It would be a truly different match. I don’t want to be small, like Manny Pacquiao. In that sense it’s good. It’s a big love call for RIZIN. The rules are also flexible. I think I’ll approach it. If you’re going to participate in the competition, wouldn’t it be nice to have a professional wrestling match? Unlike in the past, there is a clear distinction between professional wrestling and martial arts these days. Probably not many of our fans watch professional wrestling. Even if you have a match next to a match, you should be able to make martial arts fans think, “Wow, professional wrestling is amazing!” I think I can serve as a bridge between professional wrestling and martial arts.“
Kota Ibushi’s contract with NJPW (New Japan Pro-Wrestling) expired on January 31st of this year.
According to NJPW’s website Ibushi is described as follows:
“Kota Ibushi is one of NJPW’s most popular wrestlers with superhuman physical ability and an unparalleled sense for pro-wrestling.”
Ibushi, 40, is a Japanese professional wrestler and martial artist who entered onto the scene in July of 2004 with DDT Pro Wrestling. Joining NJPW in 2009, ‘The Golden Star’s’ accomplishments are too many to mention, but he considered one of the most popular wrestlers in Japan.
Manny Pacquiao is the only boxer to have won world championships in eight different weight classes. The 44 year old last fought in the summer of 2021 where he was defeated by Yordenis Ugas. Pacquiao confirmed that he signed with Rizin earlier this year.
The talks concerning the fight between Ibushi and Pacquiao are at a very preliminary stage and according to ‘Tokyo Sport’ the ruleset has yet to be determined.
Apparently Pacquiao’s contract is for a boxing match, yet Ibushi is a pro wrestler, raising the question of what kind of a fight this would be?
What do you think of an Ibushi vs Pacquiao fight?
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