Rizin Fighting Federation CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara is teasing a possible boxing match between retired pugilist Manny Pacquiao and former NJPW competitor Kota Ibushi.
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Dave Meltzer wrote the following in the most recent issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
“Sakakibara emphasized how lucrative it was for wrestlers to engage in real battles in Pride and how no professional wrestlers are currently doing so. He said that the regulations could be negotiated such that a boxing battle was not required, and Sakakibara even joked about holding a professional wrestling match instead.
He promoted the notion that there used to be a significant crossover between the fighting and wrestling fan bases, but that is no longer the case, and he tried to promote the notion that Ibushi could convert fight fans back to pro wrestling supporters and increase the audience. According to reports, the parties are only at the very beginning of their negotiations.
The year is 2023 and I am writing about the prospect of @ibushi_kota facing @MannyPacquiao in a boxing match…. What ever next! Full story over on the site.
— Craig (Dirtsheets.net) (@DirtSheetsCraig) February 10, 2023
What is Rizin?
Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the former president of Dream Stage Entertainment and Pride Fighting Championships, founded the Japanese mixed martial arts organization Rizin Fighting Federation in 2015. Rizin Fighting Federation is sometimes referred to as Rizin FF.
Rizin, which was created to be the “spiritual successor” of Pride FC and Dream, shares many of the ideals and aspirations of its two forebears: it promotes its events as “larger-than-life events” with elaborate opening ceremonies and fighter entrances, all of its fights take place in a roped ring, and it uses Pride and Dream’s ruleset. The group also supports “Grand Prix,” single-elimination competitions in which competitors must compete against a number of opponents on the same night. The best MMA organisation in Japan is regarded as Rizin.
Is this something you would like to see Kota Ibushi take part in?