• Buboy Fernandez feels there is a chance that Manny Pacquiao could come out of retirement
  • Pacquiao insists that there is no comeback happening anytime soon
  • Fernandez says that Pacquiao is still capable to fight the best in the welterweight division

Manny Pacquiao will be stepping inside the ring again on December 11 in Seoul, South Korea, but this time around, it is for a charity boxing event.

Pacquiao, who decided to retire from the sport in September 2021 with a Hall of Fame-worthy professional record of 62-8-2 with 39 knockouts, is set to figure in an exhibition match against a South Korean social media personality in DK Yoo.

Many believe that this could be a precursor to a potential comeback in the professional ranks, and a close ally of the fistic sensation from General Santos City, Philippines feels the same way as well.

Buboy Fernadez, Pacquiao’s longtime confidant who got promoted from being Freddie Roach’s deputy to becoming the chief trainer in 2018, is not ruling out the possibility of seeing his childhood friend come out of retirement.

In fact, Fernandez insisted that now would be a perfect time for the 43-year-old southpaw to contemplate the idea of lacing up a pair of eight-ounce gloves again.

“Why not? So that we will have a world champion. We currently don’t have one,” he said in his native tongue during a media scrum on Wednesday, July 20 a few hours before Pacquiao formally announced his clash with Yoo.

The Philippines has been dealing with a championship drought since February of this year, starting with Jerwin Ancjas relinquishing his possession of the IBF super flyweight title to Fernando Martinez.

This past May, the WBO opted to uncrown John Riel Casimero as its bantamweight kingpin for failing to show up twice for his title defense opposite Paul Butler.

To compound the misery of Philippine boxing hopefuls, Nonito Donaire Jr. gave up the WBC bantamweight belt to WBA and IBF titleholder Naoya Inoue in a unification rematch last June.

The heartbreaking trend continued this July as Rene Mark Cuarto came up short to Daniel Valladares in his IBF minimumweight title defense, Mark Magsayo lost the WBC featherweight strap to Rey Vargas, and Donnie Nietes suffered a 12-round drubbing at the hands of arch-nemesis Kazuto Ioka.

Fernandez stressed that Pacquiao could be the one to break the losing skid of Filipino boxers in world title bouts.

Manny Pacquiao v Adrien Broner - News Conference
Manny Pacquiao's trainer Buboy Fernandez speaks during a news conference at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on January 16, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

“It’s just different when it’s Manny Pacquiao who’s fighting,” he quipped.

Pacquiao hasn’t seen action since August 2021 when he dropped a unanimous decision to Cuban pugilist Yordenis Ugas for the WBA welterweight championship.

Despite Pacquiao’s inactivity and age, Fernandez is confident that the "Pac-Man" could still give members of the 147-pound weight class a run for their money.

“He’s Manny Pacquiao. It’s easy for him to regain his stamina,” the boxing coach stressed.

However, Fernandez clarified that Pacquiao still has the final say.

“It still depends on him if he returns to the ring. We can’t really say, but like I said, it’s possible,” he mentioned.

For Pacquiao, it seems that he remains at peace with the choice he made last year of leaving the sport that catapulted him to superstardom.

“Last time I heard, I already announced my retirement,” Pacquiao stated. “That’s what my heart and mind tell me unless I change my mind and my heart tells me that I want to fight again.”

While Fernandez leaves the door open for a comeback, his focus now is to ensure that Pacquiao is in tip-top shape for the exhibition versus Yoo.

“This exhibition bout is no joke because they will fight without headgear, unlike other exhibitions. As his best friend and at the same time his trainer, I need to support him and make sure that he is in good condition,” he ended.