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Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao’s next fight in One Championship? Asian MMA outfit wants to bring Filipino back home in boxing raid

Singapore-based MMA organisation is expanding its presence across all combat sports as Philippines boxing legend looks for his next fight

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2018, 10:21am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2018, 10:58pm

Manny Pacquiao is back on top of the world and now Asia’s largest martial arts promotion wants the boxing legend to bring it all back home.

“I’d love to see him defend his title in the Philippines and give Filipino fans what they want in a mega card,” said One Championship founder Chatri Sityodtong. “Manny, let’s do it.”

The Singapore-based One organisation has been expanding its presence across all combat sports, with its new Super Series of stand-up fights proving a popular addition to its regular mixed martial arts cards.

Two weeks ago Chatri announced One had signed on to co-promote Thailand’s WBC world super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and the organisation would be chasing a similar co-promotion deal with Pacquiao, who is currently handled by his own MP Promotions.

“We could gather all of the heroes the Philippines have on a mega card and blast it out to the whole world,” Chatri said.

The 39-year-old Pacquiao took the WBA welterweight title off Argentine Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 15. The win came via a lightning right uppercut in the seventh that turned the clock right back to the veteran’s glory days when the fighter from the Philippines was carving his way through a record eight weight divisions. Pacquiao’s record now stands at 60-7-2, with 39 of those victories coming by knockout.

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Since finishing Matthysse off, questions have swirled around just who Pacquiao will fight next – and where he will fight next – with reports suggesting everyone from England’s former junior-welterweight world champion Amir Khan to the now-retired American multiple world champion Floyd Mayweather might well be in the mix.

Pacquiao revealed after his latest win that he fancies another go-around with Mayweather – and no doubt the huge purse it would generate – has since said he wants his next bout to be on December 2.

Hong Kong may even play host, with Pacquiao’s manager Arnold Vegafria revealing to the South China Morning Post that a bout in the SAR was not beyond the realms of possibility.

“Why not? Hong Kong is part of China and we are trying to promote boxing in China. And we’ve been to Macau in the past so it’s possible,” he said.

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While a host of Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern countries are apparently now clamouring for a contract with Pacquiao, Chatri wants the fighter to be part of one of his organisation’s regular blockbuster cards, held inside Manila’s impressive Mall of Asia Arena.

“What we want to showcase is all combat sports, and we want to get multiple division champions across all disciplines,” Chatri said. “We want to give the Filipino fans what they want.”

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Chatri threw the call out to Pacquiao during a press event for his organisation’s One: Reign of Kings card to be held in Manila on Friday night. It’s being headlined by a bout between two division champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen (11-2) who will meet Kevin “The Silencer” Belington (18-5) of the Philippines for One’s interim world bantamweight title.