Eight-division boxing legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao jaw-dropped boxing fans when he displayed his speed, power, and athleticism during an exhibition bout against South Korean YouTuber DK Yoo last Saturday at the KINTEX in Goyang, South Korea.
Going into the fight, the Filipino wore white and blue shorts while the Korean wore red with a white stripe.
Just seconds after the bell rang, Pacquiao and Yoo went head-to-head but were wary of each other — testing the waters. The latter, who has martial arts experience, seemed terrified of his opponent, distancing himself from the Filipino’s reach.
Based on the match, Manny is still quick and explosive as ever. Despite his age of 43, his punching power is still there.
The Korean martial artist took advantage of his height and reach. Nevertheless, he was powerless against the great Manny Pacquiao and tasted the canvass six times but counted only once as official.
The first knockdown happened in round four, just before the bell signalled its end. The Filipino champ released a barrage of punches that made Yoo kneel. Unfortunately, it did not count since the Korean martial artist went down at the same time the bell rang.
In round five of the game, both fighters were loose, with Yoo even doing the famous Ali shuffle. Pacquiao obliged and did the same thing with a smile. However, the former pound-for-pound boxer was getting more accurate with his punches, pushing the Korean to the ropes.
An accidental punch on the head from Pacquiao delayed the fight, for which he apologized afterwards. When they resumed, a straight counter-punch from the Filipino sent the Korean diving first to the floor, which the referee did not count as a knockdown.
The greatest highlight of the match happened in round six, with 1:07 to spare. Pacquiao landed a clean uppercut that sent Yoo falling hard on the mat.
Before the match reached its conclusion, the boxing legend was able to hit a few strong punches that made the Korean’s knees wobble. The game ended in a draw.
Manny Pacquiao Fights for the First Time since Retirement
Pacquiao announced his retirement in 2021 when he lost unanimously against the match younger Cuban fighter Yordenis Ugas.
“It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today, I am announcing my retirement,” Pacquiao said last September 29 in a 14-minute video.
“I never thought that this day would come. As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank the whole world, especially the Filipino people, for supporting Manny Pacquiao. Goodbye boxing, thank you for changing my life,” he added.
So, his fight against Yoo was his first boxing match after a year of retirement.
But recently, Pacquiao, who had a 62-8-2 record, seems to be preparing for something big. He expressed interest in fighting undefeated welterweight champions Terence Crawford and Errol Spence sometime soon.
Admittedly, he felt lonely when he “hanged his gloves.” But after fighting Yoo, the Filipino legend teased a potential return to the ring after experiencing the joy of fighting inside it.
“This is a great opportunity to come back in the ring,” he said in the post-fight interview. “I thought it was easy to retire… I really missed boxing.”
Aside from his possible comeback, Pacquiao, who owns Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), will be killing some time since the OKBet-sponsored season four of the league is about to end.