Manny Pacquiao vs. Rukiya Anpo Exhibition Boxing Match in Japan Officially Set for Super RIZIN 3 on July 28

Jun 28, 2024
The Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao gets a new opponent in Japanese striking sensation Rukiya Anpo.

Manny Pacquiao, Filipino boxing icon, eight-division world champion, and former presidential candidate will make his debut in RIZIN on July 28 at the Saitama Super Arena against former K1 Super Lightweight (-65 kg) champion Rukiya Anpo in an exhibition boxing match at 68 kg. The match will consist of three rounds of three minutes each with no judges' decision.

Anpo steps in as a replacement for Chihiro Suzuki, the RIZIN Featherweight (-66 kg) MMA Champion, and former KNOCK OUT Super Lightweight (-65 kg) champion, who pulled out of his fight with Pacquiao due to an injury sustained in a boxing match against Takanori Gomi on June 23.

Photo: GONG

The high-profile Japanese kickboxer expressed his excitement in facing the Filipino legend at a press conference with Suzuki and RIZIN president Nobuyuki Sakakibara.

"I think Pacquiao is insanely strong. But I'm going to take on the challenge with the intention of winning," said Anpo to Suzuki. "I'm going to drop a lightning bolt that will make a hole in the ceiling of the Saitama Super Arena."

Since leaving K-1 in 2022, Anpo has been active in RIZIN, dabbling in MMA and taking fights against heavier opponents in Mikuru Asakura's promotion, Breaking Down. Anpo recently made headlines for sparring with former UFC Middleweight champion Sean Strickland and for being in talks with ONE Championship.

The 45-year-old Pacquiao said earlier in June that he was in negotiations to make a professional boxing comeback after three years of retirement. His last professional bout took place in August 2021 in a loss against Yordenis Ugas.

Since retirement, Pacquiao ran for presidency in the Philippines but lost the May 2022 election. He has since participated in an exhibition boxing match in December 2022 against South Korean Youtuber DK Yoo.