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Eduard Folayang interested to figure in boxing match vs Manny Pacquiao

Exhibition boxing matches have hogged the spotlight as of late, and Eduard Folayang isn’t afraid to hop on the hype train if it means facing off against a fellow Filipino sports hero.

The former ONE Lightweight MMA World Champion has expressed his willingness to lace up a pair of boxing gloves opposite the legendary Manny Pacquiao.

The possibility was first raised by veteran journalist Bill Velasco during a phone-patch interview on DWAN 1206’s “Hard Ball” program last Tuesday, July 9. The Lions Nation MMA lynchpin responded positively, conveying his enthusiasm for such a matchup.

Following this revelation, Tiebreaker Times approached “Landslide” for further comment. He acknowledged the allure of sharing the ring with Pacquiao, emphasizing that it would be an opportunity too good to pass up if offered.

“When you talk about a Filipino athlete, his name is immediately the first one that comes to mind. Whether it’s a Filipino or an individual from another country, Manny Pacquiao is always the topic of conversation,” Folayang stated.

“He is what we can call the gold standard of sports here in the Philippines. If given the opportunity, why would I refuse? That would be an honor.”

Crossover bouts between pugilists and mixed martial artists have become an ongoing trend in combat sports.

This craze in the modern era began when Floyd Mayweather Jr. clashed with UFC superstar Conor McGregor in August 2017.

These matches surged in popularity during the pandemic, with social media influencers Jake and Logan Paul entering the boxing scene.

This trend also enticed retired boxing greats such as Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr., and Evander Holyfield to make in-ring comebacks.

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Likewise, it encouraged a long list of MMA legends to test their skills in “the sweet science,” including Anderson Silva, Nate Diaz, Tito Ortiz, Vitor Belfort, Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley, and Frank Mir.

Manny-Pacquiao-vs-Yordenis-Ugas-post-fight-2 Eduard Folayang interested to figure in boxing match vs Manny Pacquiao Boxing News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news

Photo from Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Pacquiao, who officially retired from professional boxing in September 2021, embraced the trend by taking on South Korean martial artist DK Yoo in a December 2022 exhibition match.

There, boxing’s only eight-division titleholder dominated Yoo over six rounds to secure a decision victory.

Pacquiao’s next exhibition outing is slated for July 28 at the Super Saitama Arena in Japan, where he squares off with Japanese kickboxer Rukiya Anpo in a three-round contest.

While this duel promises to evoke nostalgia for fans of Pacquiao’s prime, Folayang believes there are other encounters that could generate significant interest, including the prospect of him going head-to-head with “Pac-Man.”

ONE-Fight-Night-14-Eduard-Folayang-1-scaled Eduard Folayang interested to figure in boxing match vs Manny Pacquiao Boxing News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news


“I think it would be more interesting and intriguing, at the same time, because you have two Filipino icons in the same ring,” he said.

“At the end of the day, that’s one of the goals of combat sports — to bring people together and provide them with the best possible matchups.”

However, Folayang’s primary focus remains on his bread and butter.

In fact, Folayang is eager to return to action later this year, eyeing a spot in ONE Championship’s two-event United States tour in September and November.

“My priority is still MMA. Hopefully, I can compete again, especially since ONE Championship has two events in America this year. I’m hoping to be included on either fight card,” he ended.

Written By

Nissi Icasiano is a sportswriter, analyst and editor from the Philippines. He started his professional career in 2013. He has also written for various media outlets such as, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times,,, South China Morning Post, The Phnom Penh Post and the International Business Times. In 2017, he started a career as a Combat Sports Analyst for television and radio, appearing on various news shows for ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM, PTV 4, Business World, Radyo Pilipinas 2 and Bombo Radyo Philippines. He practices boxing at Tiger City Boxing Gym whenever he is not writing.

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