MANILA, Philippines – When Filipino ring legend Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao decides to retire from the sport, it will be on his own terms.
Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion and former pound-for-pound king, is out to prove that he is far from done when he challenges American Timothy Bradley Jr. for the WBO welterweight title on April 12 in Las Vegas.
“(Kailangan) patunayan na hindi pa tapos ‘yung career natin,” Pacquiao said on ANC’s “Headstart” Monday.
When asked about how he remains motivated even after a long and successful career, Pacquiao said: “Boxing is my passion.”
“Ayokong mag-retiro ng maaga, tapos babalik ako later on. Gusto ko, sulit. Pag retiro, retiro na. Wala ng balikan,” he said.
Pacquiao said the decision to retire will be all up to him. “Ako naman ang magsasabi na ‘I think I have to hang up my gloves,’” said Pacquiao.
It is not yet time for him to hang up his gloves, however, as Pacquiao insists that he still feels the fire and hunger to compete, as well as the excitement of going into the gym daily to work out.
“Training lang naman ang capital ng boxing,” said Pacquiao. “Pag dumating ang time na medyo tamarin ka na, eh medyo mag-isip-isip ka na.”
Right now, Pacquiao is feeling refreshed ahead of another important fight, as he is seeking to avenge a controversial June 2012 loss to Bradley that sent his career into a brief downward spiral.
After losing to Bradley two years ago, Pacquiao suffered a knockout at the hands of Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez, and was inactive for almost a year. He returned in November 2013 with a unanimous decision win over Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in Macau.
“Ngayon, ang feeling ko ngayon ay ‘yung parang nags-start ako ng career ko sa boxing,” said Pacquiao. “Determinado akong manalo at makapgbigay ng kasiyahan.” -- With a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News.