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MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao is plotting a boxing comeback over a year since his retirement.
The Filipino boxing icon on Wednesday, March 29, said his world title aspirations remain as he eyes a return fight before the year ends, believing that he has enough gas left in the tank.
Scheduled for an exhibition bout in Japan on July 29, Pacquiao bared that he has engaged in negotiations for an official match either in October or November.
“I missed boxing. I’m okay with exhibitions. But for me, as a boxer, you want to be a world champion again,” Pacquiao said in a mix of Filipino and English during an event by Alaxan in Pasig.
“There is still that dream to return to boxing. Right now, I’m focused on training and conditioning so I will not lose my speed and power.”
After losing in the 2022 national elections, the eight-division world champion returned to action and battled Korean martial artist DK Yoo in an exhibition bout in December, running away with a unanimous decision win.
The 44-year-old said he has kept himself in tiptop shape by maintaining a healthy diet and regularly jogging and playing basketball.
“For someone my age, I’m still moving like [I’m] 30 years old, 20 years old. This is a grace from God, amazing grace,” Pacquiao said.
In a story by ESPN earlier this March, MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons said Pacquiao is in line for a fight against undefeated British boxer Conor Benn.
But Pacquiao refused to divulge the identity of his opponent, wary that talks might fall through.
“We’re still negotiating right now so I do not want to preempt it,” said Pacquiao.
Pacquiao, though, clarified that he is satisfied with how his professional career turned out, ending it as the only boxer to win world titles in eight different divisions and compiling a record of 62 wins, 8 losses, and 2 draws.
“I’m happy whatever my future will be. I leave it to God. Whether I fight again or not, no problem,” he said. “If there is an opportunity, I’m up for it. If not, I’m happy doing exhibitions.” – Rappler.com