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Pacquiao in talks over comeback but title fight ‘far away’

TOKYO (AFP) – Boxing great Manny Pacquiao said yesterday that he is in negotiations to make a comeback but cautioned that a potential world title fight against Mario Barrios was “far away”.

The 45-year-old multiple world champion from the Philippines quit the sport in 2021 and made a failed tilt at his country’s presidency.

He has signed up to fight a three-round exhibition bout against Japanese mixed martial artist Chihiro Suzuki next month in Saitama, north of Tokyo.

Pacquiao said he was in talks to face the American Barrios for the WBC welterweight world title but said the potential fight was still “far away”.

“We’re still in negotiations and we’re talking about that. The fight has not materialised yet,” Pacquiao, who has hinted at comebacks before, said in Tokyo.

“That negotiation is ongoing. It’s going to be by December – November or December.

“There’s still a lot of things to discuss and talk about.”

Pacquiao in February admitted defeat in his bid to fight at next month’s Paris Olympics when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected a special request for him to take part.

The IOC has an age limit of 40 for Olympic boxers.

Retired multiple world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and Japanese kickboxer Chihiro Suzuki pose during a photo session. PHOTO: AFP