Home Boxing News Manny Pacquiao mulling over ring return against Conor Benn

Manny Pacquiao mulling over ring return against Conor Benn

Manny Pacquiao and Conor Benn. Photo credit: DAZN

It’s all steam ahead for the proposed bout between Conor Benn 23-0 (14) and Manny Pacquiao 62-8-2 (39).

British welterweight Benn, 27, remains unlicenced to box in his home country after failing a drugs test that saw him slapped with a provisional ban. He is currently appealing the decision.

Filipino southpaw Pacquiao, 45, has not boxed professionally since losing his WBA 147-pound championship to Yordenis Ugas on points three years ago.

Benn and Pacquiao were both in Saudi Arabia on the weekend to take in the the big ‘Knockout Chaos’ card at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh on Friday night.

Benn’s promoter Eddie Hearn took the opportunity to pitch the idea to Pacquiao.

“We all want to make that fight. Manny flew in for talks and to watch the show in Saudi, so that’s what we’d like to do,” the Matchroom Boxing chief said to iFL TV.

“We are waiting for the Conor Benn announcement from the appeal. We were told within two weeks, it’s now nearly four weeks.

“So any day we’ll be getting the result of that appeal. It’s not in our hands, it’s in the hands of the panel and that will determine where Conor’s next fight will be. Quite frankly, we could do Conor Benn vs Manny Pacquiao in a stadium in London.

“It’s a fight I like. He’s [Pacquiao] an eight-division world champion, I think it’s a 50/50 fight at this stage, to be honest.”

Benn is clearly hyped by the prospect of fighting Pacquiao, telling DAZN: “We’re out here to enjoy the boxing, me and Manny Pacquiao. He’s a legend, an icon.

“There are levels to this game, he’s achieved everything that any young fighter could wish to achieve. If it happens, I’m sure it’ll be here in Saudi.”

He added: “I say to that, he [Pacquiao] wants to fight me. He’s mentioned my name, his manager [Sean Gibbons], but also it’s not like I haven’t chased the 147s. How many times have I got to mention the 147 names?

“And there’s videos out there saying that they don’t want the fight, that I’m not a big enough name, or I’m not ranked or whatever – [Derek] ‘Bozy’ Ennis was saying… so what do you want me to do?

“We called for [Mario] Barrios, we called for [Yordenis] Ugas, we called for [Keith] Thurman… So it’s like, what do you want me to do? If a legend wants to share the ring with me, it would be my honour.”

Rumours of a Pacquiao vs Benn bout have been circulating for more than a year.

In an interview with Planet Sport last April, Gibbons said: “Will he fight this year? You know what, Senator Manny Pacquiao has agreed to fight Conor Benn. Do me a favour, call Eddie Hearn. The ball is in his court. Senator Manny Pacquiao is happy to fight Conor Benn. Agreed – please call Eddie Hearn.”