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It’s a little known fact that Mike Tyson was a big fan of boxing’s only eight division champion, Manny Pacquiao. In a 2013 interview with Max Kellerman for ESPN’s Sports Nation, Tyson even revealed that among all the best fighters at the time, he loved watching ‘PacMan’ box the most. So, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the duo hung out together, away from the public eye. 

However, that changed today when Boxing Kingdom turned to social media, sharing a picture of the duo from 2004 as they were driving out of a gym. ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ retired from the sport a long time ago, 2005 to be exact. And Manny Pacquiao did the same in 2021, leaving a glorious mark on the sport. However, as the duo plan to make a comeback to the sport, this picture seems to have taken over the internet.

A Blast from the past

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Yesterday, Boxing Kingdom turned to X, sharing the snap in question with the caption reading, “Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao hanging out back in the day”. Meanwhile, in the picture, Tyson and Pacquiao can be seen sitting in the adjacent seats of the car, as the Philippines star was driving. At the time, Tyson was one year shy of retirement while ‘PacMan’ was still in the featherweight division.

However, today Mike Tyson is on the cusp of entering the ring decades later against Jake Paul for a professional boxing match, despite all the health concerns the public has highlighted. Meanwhile, before running for re-election as the senator in his home country next year, Manny wants to enter the ring one last time. So, when people discovered the forgotten image on X, wild responses started flooding in! 

Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao compared to ‘Tank’ and Inoue

Boxing was much bigger back in the day—everyone knew the names who would often enter the ring to entertain them. So, seeing these two together, a sense of nostalgia seems to have taken over the fans. One user branded the image “Cold af”, as one is literally nicknamed ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ while the other achieved success in the sport like no other. In fact, Tyson is the youngest heavyweight champion, a feat no one has achieved since. And Pacquiao, a champion in eight different divisions!

In a playful jab at Tyson, someone quipped that Pacquiao wasn’t going to risk letting Tyson take the wheel, referencing Tyson’s arrest for drunk driving back in December 2006!

Meanwhile, this user roped in Jake Paul and Salt Papi into the conversation, suggesting they will have to recreate the picture. However, it’s doubtful whether that picture would be able to gain legendary status as this one. 

Another user jumped in, joking that Gervonta Davis and Naoya Inoue probably fancy themselves as the modern-day Tyson and Pacquiao, given their own domination in today’s boxing world!

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One keen-eyed user observed that ‘PacMan’ hadn’t removed the wraps from his hands even after leaving the gym. While the exact reason for Pacquiao keeping the wraps on remains a mystery, it’s plausible that Tyson and Pacquiao were gearing up for another gym session soon.

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Having said that, these responses are evidence that Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao are ruling over the hearts of every boxing fan to this day. Also, one has to wonder how many such forgotten pictures are hidden deep in the internet archives, and what fans would pay to see those images. What did you think of the blast from the past?