MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao confirmed that he plans to return to the boxing ring in September, but is currently focused on his commitments outside of the ring.
In an interview with Eddie Alinea that appeared on the Manila Standard Today, Pacquiao asked his supporters to be "patient."
"(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," Pacquiao told Alinea.
"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," he added.
Pacquiao, who is coming off a stunning sixth-round knockout loss to Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez last December, is currently helping his wife Jinkee and brother Rogelio in their political bids.
Jinkee is running for vice governor of Sarangani, while Rogelio is running for the congressional seat in General Santos City.
The "Pacman" thanked his fans for their concern following his knockout loss, but assured them that he is "well and fully recovered."
As for who his September opponent is, Pacquiao stressed that he welcomes all challengers and is unconcerned if Marquez turns down a fifth fight against him.
"Marquez, according to news reports, doesn't want to fight me for the fifth time. It actually is up to him," Pacquiao said. "If he doesn't want to fight me, then I don’t want to fight him either."
Pacquiao pointed out that he still holds the advantage in their head-to-head match-up, having beaten the Mexican twice after settling for a draw in their first fight.
"Everybody knows I'll fight anyone. I am not scared of anybody," he said. "I never avoid anyone. I don't choose easy fights. I will fight anybody, anytime, anywhere."
In recent interviews, Arum has said that Pacquiao's next fight may be held outside of the United States, possibly in Macau or Singapore.