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The potential clash between Conor Benn and Manny Pacquiao has been the subject of much anticipation among boxing fans. However, recent developments have cast a shadow of doubt over the realization of this eagerly awaited showdown. It all stems from an appeal made to the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) regarding Conor Benn’s eligibility to compete.

Manny Pacquiao, a multi-weight world champion and former pound-for-pound king, has been eyeing a return to the ring after his last professional bout against Yordenis Ugas in 2021. While retirement seemed imminent after the loss to Ugas, Pacquiao’s competitive spirit reignited rumors of a comeback. Talks of fighting in the Paris Olympics and a potential bout with Conor McGregor kept the boxing world buzzing with anticipation. However, logistical challenges and rule constraints sidelined these plans, leaving Pacquiao without a confirmed opponent.

Conor Benn on new fatherhood, advice for Campbell Hatton, 'struggle' and  'emotion', and emulating Nigel Benn as a champion | Boxing News | Sky Sports

Conor Benn, on the other hand, has faced his own hurdles in recent times. The British boxer, son of former middleweight champion Nigel Benn, encountered setbacks after failing two drug tests for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) ahead of his scheduled fight with Chris Eubank Jr in October 2022. Despite hopes of a swift return to the ring, Benn’s situation took a hit when his appeal to fight again was contested by both the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) and the BBBofC.+

Manny Pacquiao, the Boxer, Is the Focus of a Documentary - The New York  Times

The appeal’s outcome had far-reaching implications, not only for Benn but also for the potential matchup with Pacquiao. The Filipino icon, represented by advisor Sean Gibbons, had expressed keen interest in facing Benn, believing it would be a competitive and intriguing bout. The anticipation reached a peak when the two fighters engaged in a face-off in Saudi Arabia following the Anthony Joshua-Francis Ngannou weigh-in in March.

However, the appeal’s verdict dealt a blow to the prospects of the Benn-Pacquiao showdown. Gibbons revealed that the fight was close to fruition but fell through due to Benn’s suspension. Despite the setback, Gibbons hinted at the possibility of rescheduling the bout later in the year, once Benn’s suspension is lifted in September.

The narrowing timeframe adds urgency to negotiations, as the window of opportunity for the fight to materialize is shrinking. While both fighters remain eager for the matchup, logistical and regulatory hurdles must be overcome for the bout to come to fruition. Boxing enthusiasts eagerly await further developments in this saga, hoping to witness the long-awaited clash between Conor Benn and Manny Pacquiao.

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