MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao has won world championships in eight different weight divisions and was once the pound-for-pound king of boxing, but the "Pacman" said he feels as though he is just starting his career with less than a week to go before his rematch against Timothy Bradley.
After losing a controversial decision to Bradley in June 2012, and then getting knocked out by Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez in December of the same year, there were calls for Pacquiao to hang up his gloves.
Instead, Pacquiao took a long break, and returned to action only once in 2013, when he beat Brandon Rios in November.
Now, ahead of his April 12 rematch against Bradley, Pacquiao said he is totally refreshed and excited to get back in the ring.
"Ang feeling ko ngayon is, para ba akong nagsisimula ng boxing," said Pacquiao on Wednesday on radio DZMM.
"(Para ba akong) nabigyan ng break for a championship, at 'yun ang nararamdaman ko. Excited ako to win the title belt," he added.
Pacquiao is challenging Bradley for the WBO welterweight title that he lost in their 2012 showdown, and the Filipino has made it clear in previous interviews that he wants to bring the belt back to the Philippines.
"It's gonna be fun," said Pacquiao. "It's gonna be an exciting fight."
His trainer, Freddie Roach, admitted that he is a little surprised at Pacquiao’s words, but understands why the Filipino boxer feels that way.
"Yeah, I'm very surprised, I mean he's a world champion," said Roach.
"But the thing is, we took a year off. We had a little bit of a lay-off, and then we beat Rios, who's a tough contender, to get to this fight (against Bradley)," he explained. "This is a title fight right now."
Both Roach and Pacquiao have declared that they are ready for Saturday night, which marks the Filipino’s return to Las Vegas for the first time since December 2012, when he was brutally knocked out by Marquez.
Pacquiao had fought Rios in Macau.
"Ready na. Ready na tayo," said the "Pacman."
"When I saw him workout today, he's having fun, he's playing a little bit as well. That means he's ready to fight," said Roach. "He's tired of training, he’s ready for the big one, and Bradley is in trouble."