Manny Pacquiao exploring fall title bout vs. Mario Barrios

A Manny Pacquiao-Mario Barrios WBC welterweight title fight is being explored for this fall in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao Promotions president Sean Gibbons told ESPN.

Pacquiao, 45, hasn't competed since an August 2021 decision loss to Yordenis Ugas. The all-time great boxer is a former senator in the Philippines (2016-22) and is expected to seek reelection next year as he attempts to finalize one final fight.

Rizin Fighting Federation announced Sunday that Pacquiao will face its featherweight champion, Chihiro Suzuki, in a boxing exhibition on July 28 in Saitama, Japan. It will be contested at 150 pounds over three three-minute rounds as Pacquiao looks to stay sharp ahead of what he hopes will be a title shot against Barrios later this year.

"I made history at 40 beating Keith Thurman and I feel at 45, I have a lot left in the game as I haven't taken a lot of punishment over the last few years," Pacquiao told ESPN. "I want to go out making history."

Boxing's only eight-division champion, Pacquiao won his first title in 1998 as a 112-pounder at age 19. His last title victory came against Thurman in July 2019 at 147 pounds.

Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) attempted to obtain special exemption to compete in the Olympics this summer in Paris but the IOC denied his request to bypass the age limit of 40 years old.

His 2015 loss to Floyd Mayweather remains the highest-grossing fight of all time with revenue grossed over $600 million.

Barrios (29-2, 18 KOs) won the WBC interim welterweight title with a decision victory over Ugas in September. Terence Crawford was named champion in recess last month as he sets out to campaign at 154 pounds and it's expected Barrios will be elevated to champion.

Barrios, a 29-year-old from San Antonio, is ESPN's No. 5 welterweight. He has won three consecutive fights since back-to-back losses to Gervonta Davis and Thurman in 2021-22.

"I'm very excited at the possibility of this fight being made," Barrios said. "Manny Pacquiao is a future Hall of Famer, a legend and someone I looked up to growing up. To share the ring with him would be an honor and a dream come true."