Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent confirmed days after boxing retirement
The fighting legend will swap the boxing ring for the chess board when he takes on champion player Magnus Carlsen in a celebrity match-up to raise money for his charity
Manny Pacquiao has announced that his next move will be to take on iconic chess champion Magnus Carlsen in a celebrity chess match to raise funds for charity.
The boxing legend recently announced that he was finished with boxing so he could focus on a presidential run in his native Philippines, although his promotional company bosses have disputed that claim.
In the meantime, he will take on a simulated version of the chess legend’s younger self as part of the virtual ‘Magnus Carlsen Celebrity Charity Challenge’.
The simulated version of Carlsen will be emulating the chess star at the age of just 10, but none of the celebrities who have competed to date have come close to beating him.
“I can’t wait to see how the legendary Manny Pacquiao does against a 10-year-old me on the Play Magnus app,” Carlsen said.
“I wasn’t World Champion back then, but I was already playing decently so it’s going to be hard!”
Manny Pacquiao has announced his next steps after boxing ( Image: Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock)
And Pacquiao has said that he is excited to take on a new challenge, just days after appearing to confirm his retirement from the sport of boxing.
“I am very much excited to play Magnus Carlsen, the world chess champion,” Pacquiao said.
“This is something that doesn’t happen every day and I will be placed in a different arena this time around.”
Pacquiao, who is raising funds and awareness for the “Stop Asian Hate” campaign, will get $5,000 to donate to his chosen charity simply for taking on the challenge.
And should be beat the challenge by lasting the longest, a record currently held at 49 moves, he will secure an extra $50,000.
Pacquiao has in the past announced he was “retiring” to focus on politics, famously running for and winning a seat in the senate in 2016 after his fight with Timothy Bradley.
Pacquiao is now set to turn his hand to chess for charity ( Image: Getty Images)
But he returned just seven months later to take on Jessie Vargas.
His latest retirement announcement came during a recent interview with actress Toni Gonzaga on her YouTube program Toni Talks.
Speaking with the actress, he said that his defeat by Ugas last month was the final fight of his 26-year, 72-fight professional career.
“My boxing career? My boxing career is already over,” Pacquiao said. “It’s done because I’ve been in boxing for a long time and my family says that it is enough.
“I just continued [to box] because I’m passionate about this sport.
“I will just support other boxers for us to have a champion again.”
However, the president of Pacquiao’s promotional company Sean Gibbons has told ESPN that the boxing star is still considering what’s next, and has yet to fully retire.
“In the coming weeks, the senator will decide how he’s going to finish his professional boxing career,” he said.
“After the fight and recently, he’s discussed retiring [or] maybe one more [fight]. He’s just talking out loud about different situations.
“Until you see it officially come out on his Twitter or Instagram, he isn’t retired. Once you see it on a platform like that, it’s official.
“Anything else is just talk about what his thoughts are in the moment. It’s coming from him, but it’s hearsay.”