Manny Pacquiao proposed to fight pro wrestler Ibushi Kota

Eight-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is being proposed to fight Japanese pro wrestler and karateka Ibushi Kota. This bit of information came from RIZIN, the MMA promotion Pacquiao signed with earlier this year.

Ibushi is one of several names that has been mentioned as Manny’s next opponent after the latter defeated South Korean martial artist DK Yoo in December 2022. Previously, there were rumors that the Filipino Rennaisance man might go up against Floyd Mayweather, Jr in an exhibition bout. There were also talks of him fighting former sparmate Jaber Zayani in Saudi Arabia.

Moreso, there are others more reportedly waiting in line. These include British boxers Conor Benn and Kell Brook, as well as Australian pugilist Anthony Mundine.

Who is Ibushi Kota?

Ibushi is an accomplished pro wrestler in Japan. His contract with New Japan Pro-Wrestling expired in the end of January and is currently a free agent. He is set to have a pro wrestling match at Josh Barnett’s: Bloodsport 9.

After this, it is speculated that the former IWGP heavyweight champion might sign with one of the major wrestling promotions in the United States.

He previously participated in WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic in 2016. He lost in the semifinals to Filipino-American wrestler TJP, who won the tournament.

Like Manny, Ibushi is a multi-sport athlete. Before he went to pro wrestling, he practiced karate and won a shinkarate K-2 tournament in 2003. He also had a boxing exhibition against fellow wrestler Michael Nakazawa, which ended in a draw.

The first time a pro wrestler and a boxer had a widely publicized match was between NJPW founder Antonio Inoki and boxing hall of famer Muhammad Ali in 1976. Most consider this encounter as the precursor of modern mixed martial arts.

How does a Manny Pacquiao versus Ibushi Kota exhibition event intrigue you?