SEOUL, Oct 11 — Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao will fight in an exhibition match in South Korea this winter to raise money for war-torn Ukraine, the event’s organisers announced Tuesday.

Pacquiao, the only eight-division world champion in boxing history, will take on the South Korean mixed martial artist DK Yoo at 11am. on Dec 11 at the Korea International Exhibition Centre (KINTEX) in Goyang, Yonhap news agency reported.

Proceeds from the match will be donated to help relief and recovery efforts in Ukraine.

Pacquiao, 43, had his last official fight in August 2021. The upcoming exhibition will be contested under boxing rules over six two-minute rounds. Both fighters will don 10-ounce gloves.

“I am very thankful for this opportunity and excited for the exhibition,” Yonhap reported Pacquiao said at a press conference in Seoul announcing the details of the match. “The fight is real. We will try to knock each other out. That’s why we need to work hard.”

Pacquiao said he will use the upcoming bout to decide if he wants to return to professional boxing or if he will stay on the exhibition circuit.

“It depends. We will see the result on Dec 11,” Pacquiao said with a smile. His career record stands at 62 wins (39 KOs), eight losses and two draws.

Yoo, who has built a sizable following on YouTube with clips showing fighting techniques, said he will embrace the challenge of fighting one of the all-time greats, according to Yonhap.

“Obviously, I realise Pacquiao will be the heavy favourite,” said Yoo, who lost to former Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) fighter Bradley Scott in a boxing match last year. “But I am bigger, and I hope to take advantage of that. I am not thinking about the result right now. My goal is to train hard and show a great athlete like Pacquiao what I am capable of”.

Pacquiao said he knows what it takes to fight larger foes.

“I’ve been fighting with bigger guys since 2000. It’s not new to me to fight a bigger man in boxing,” he said. “I have to undergo hard work and difficult training.”

Pacquiao said he had seen clips of Yoo’s fight against Scott and noticed areas of improvements for the 43-year-old South Korean.

“Boxing is more difficult than martial arts,” Pacquiao said. “He needs to learn more and train hard for boxing, because it requires stamina, footwork and head movements.”

Pacquiao has been involved in politics in his the Philippines for years as well. He served in the House of Representatives from 2010 to 2016 and in the Senate from 2016 to 2022. He had ran for president earlier this year but lost to Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Also a basketball enthusiast, Pacquiao had been the owner of a team in the Philippine Basketball Association and founded a semi-professional league in the country too. He said he has been playing basketball to stay in shape after his boxing career ended. — Bernama