Pacquiao eyes boxing return

Manny Pacquiao with former vice president Jejomar Binay, who stepped down last month. Source: Wikimedia
Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is planning to fight again this year, three months after announcing his retirement, ESPN has reported, although the southpaw claims politics comes first.
He said his win over Timothy Bradley in April was his final fight but now says he will fight on October 29 or November 5 in Las Vegas, his promoter Bob Arum told ESPN. Who he plans to fight is unknown.
The veteran of 66 fights and winner of world or Ring magazine titles in a record eight weight divisions, fought a “final” bout three months ago and has since won a seat in the Philippine senate.
“There is no truth to media reports that I’m planning to take a leave from my senate duties just to fight again atop the ring. I want to make it clear, my priority is my legislative works,” Pacquiao, 37, said in a statement.
“My next fight has not yet been discussed. Should there be any, I’ll make sure it will not interfere with my senate duties.”
Arum has reportedly placed a hold on the Mandalay Bay Events Centre in Las Vegas for a possible return for the southpaw on October 15 although plans have subsequently changed.
“Manny wants to come back. The problem is he can only come back if it doesn’t interfere with his senate duties,” Arum was quoted saying by ESPN. “We had pencilled him in for October 15 at Mandalay Bay but we were informed that is no longer possible because he has to spend that week leading up to October 15 formulating the budget in the senate and doing the votes.
“So he has to be there for that week, so that knocks out that week. He can’t mess around with that. So now we’re looking at October 29 or November 5. The question is building availability because we want to do the fight in Las Vegas.”
Pacquiao’s unanimous win over Bradley was his first fight in nearly a year after his loss on points to Floyd Mayweather in one of history’s more disappointing boxing clashes. He had said he was retiring to concentrate on a political career and his family.
Michael Koncz, one of Pacquiao’s advisers, said the former star was still happiest in the ring.
“Manny’s primary concern and obligation is to fulfil his senatorial duties,” Koncz said. “But he just misses [fighting]. He misses the training. He misses being in the gym. You can see when he trains it’s like a stress reliever for him. His mood changes. It’s like he’s in happy land … Manny is working closely with the senate president to make sure the dates are OK.”