Pacquiao confirms September return
Manny Pacquiao has revealed that he will return to the ring in September for the first time since he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez.
- Published: 26/03/2013 at 11:34 AM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Manny Pacquiao speaks to supporters upon his arrival at Manila's international airport on Dec 12, 2012 on his return from the United States after his knockout loss to Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez in a non-title bout in Las Vegas on Dec 8. Pacquiao, who fought his way out of poverty as a teenager and is now immensely wealthy at the age of 34, has ignored calls to retire, confirming he will fight again in September. (AFP Photo)
The former WBO world welterweight champion suffered a crushing sixth-round defeat to the Mexican in Las Vegas on Dec 8 last year that left him lying unconscious on the canvas.
Concerns for the 34-year-old Pacquiao’s health lead to calls for him to quit by doctors in the Philippines and some fans feared that he may decide to concentrate on his political career rather than get back in the ring.
Pacquiao has confirmed however that that he will fight again this year.
“Tell [the fans] to be patient,” he told Manila Standard Today.
“[Top Rank promoter] Bob Arum and myself have been talking and will continue talking. What is definite is they'll see me fight again come September. Not April nor immediately after that as speculations are going. Tell the public that it won't be long before I make them happy again when I fight.
“Tell them, too, that I appreciate very much their concern over my well-being when I lost by a knockout to Marquez and during the debate whether to fight in April. I treasure their concern and prayers that I recover quickly from my knockout loss. I want everyone to know that I am well and fully recovered. Thank you very much for everyone's prayers.”
Pacquiao has not ruled out a fifth fight with his old foe Marquez but admits that the decision rests with the 39-year-old Mexican.
“Marquez, according to news reports, doesn't want to fight me for the fifth time,” Pacquiao said.
“It actually is up to him.
“Me? Well, everybody knows I'll fight anyone. I am not scared of anybody. And that is the reason why boxing fans like me so much. I never avoid anyone. I don't choose easy fights. I will fight anybody, anytime, anywhere. If he doesn't want to fight me then I don't want to fight him either. So be it. It's that simple.
“He says he doesn't want to fight me because he won our last fight? Well, I am still ahead in the tally of our last four fights. I won two, lost one and drew one.”
Singapore and Macau have both been touted as possible venues for Pacquiao’s return to the ring, with the Filipino keen to avoid fighting in the United States because of tax laws that would see him lose around 40% of his purse.