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MANILA, Philippines— Another exhibition bout between Manny Pacquiao and Jaber Zayani, a former training partner of Pacquiao’s, is scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia the following year.
A contract signing between Pacquiao and Zayani took place at the residence of the Filipino boxing legend in Makati City last week, making their partnership official.
In an interview with Agence France-Presse earlier this month, Pacquiao stated that they were very close to beginning talks for the bout.
The non-sanctioned eight-round fight is scheduled to take place at King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh somewhere around the middle of February 2023.
“After months of discussions, my staff and I ultimately came to an agreement with the senator to have a face-to-face meeting the following year after I personally bargained with him. According to Zayani, who was quoted in a press release issued on Tuesday, “He already signed the contract, therefore it is a go.”
During Pacquiao’s training camp in 2019 in preparation for his fight for the world title against Keith Thurman, Zayani was one of Pacquiao’s sparring partners.
Just one month after suffering an unexpected defeat at the hands of Yordenis Ugas, Manny Pacquiao announced his retirement from professional boxing in September of the previous year in order to focus on his campaign for the presidency of the Philippines.
Pacquiao, at 43 years old, is expected to make his comeback to the boxing ring in December, when he will compete against the popular martial arts YouTuber DK Yoo at a charity event in Seoul, South Korea.
Despite the fact that Yoo has already conceded that he won’t be able to defeat Pacquiao, Zayani is determined to make the most of the unique opportunity to compete against one of the most accomplished boxers in the annals of the sport’s history.
“Call it an exhibition or something else, but when the senator signed the deal, I warned him to prepare well because I’m going to give him a real battle. I’m going to give him a run for his money.” After that, he warned me, ‘you better be prepared,'” said Zayani, who signed a promotional deal with Saudi Prince Al-Walid Ben Talal that was worth multiple millions of dollars over the course of five years.
I told the senator in all candor that I am considering this opportunity to be my biggest break, and that I will make the most of it. I want to make a splash and become a familiar name in people’s minds. “Sure, the organizers are calling this an exhibition, but for me, it’s an opportunity to exhibit my talent as a potential world champion,” he continued. The organizers are calling this an exhibition.
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