Manny Pacquiao wins on return to boxing ring for charity bout against YouTuber DK Yoo

Filipino multi-weight world champion took part, and won, the exhibition fight in Seoul to raise money for Ukraine and homeless Filipinos

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Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao returned to the ring on Sunday for the first time since retiring to take part in an exhibition bout against South Korean YouTuber DK Yoo in Seoul.

The 43-year-old fighter turned politician stepped away from boxing to launch a bid for the Philippine presidency, a bid which ultimately failed. He also served as a senator between 2016 and May this year.

On Sunday, Pacquiao fought Yoo in a showcase match on the outskirts of the South Korean capital to raise money for Ukraine and homeless Filipinos.

Dressed in a shiny red robe with gold trimming, Pacquiao emerged into the KINTEX arena in Goyang to roars of excitement from the crowd.

Yoo, a martial artist and internet star, was competing in only his second boxing contest – his previous encounter an exhibition match against former UFC fighter Bradley Scott.

Yoo, dubbed the "Korean Bruce Lee" in his homeland, was no match for Pacquiao despite being significantly taller and heavier.

The South Korean was visibly tired and winded after the second round as a speedy Pacquiao moved in with an explosion of rapid-fire punches.

Pacquiao, who turns 44 next week, was the winner by unanimous decision and hinted that more appearances in the ring could lie ahead.

When asked about the prospect of a fight in 2023, he replied: "You'll see."

He had suggested prior to the match that he may not be done with fighting, calling Sunday's bout a "very good stepping stone to come back".

"This is a great opportunity to come back in the ring," he added. "I thought it was easy to retire... I really missed boxing."

Pacquiao, a multiple world champion who hung up his gloves with a 62-8-2 record after winning 12 major titles in eight weight classes, admitted: "I felt lonely when I retired from boxing."

Updated: December 11, 2022, 10:12 AM