MANILA, Philippines - People's Champ Manny Pacquiao is returning to a hero's welcome at the House of Representatives on Monday after winning a historic 8th boxing world title in as many divisions.
It will be the first time that Pacquiao will be feted by Congress as one of its own. The fighting congressman of Sarangani will receive the Congressional Medal of Distinction from his own peers later today.
In an interview, Pacquiao said he is excited to meet his fellow congressmen and share the joy of bringing honor to the country.
"Naghahanda na daw sila, naghanda daw ang Congress para sa akin, so excited ako," he said he said in an interview on ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda.
The Sarangani congressman said he also wants to resume his legislative duties and apply the same discipline he applies in training to his new role as congressman. He downplayed criticism that he is doing too much balancing his responsibilities as a boxer and a lawmaker.
"Kapag mahal mo ang trabaho mo, gusto mo...Some people work 3-4 hours and say, 'That's it. That's my whole day. I need to take a rest.' For me, I will train 3-4 hours and then I still have a lot of time. Ang isang araw para sa akin ay 12 hours," "
Pacquiao said paperwork has piled up in his office after he started training for his fight against the "Tijuana Tornado" Antonio Margarito. The People's Champ defeated Margarito via unanimous decision last November 13.
Pacquiao said he is backing the passage of an anti-human trafficking law as well as building a provincial hospital in Sarangani.
"We really need to wipe out human trafficking because it is so prevalent and victimizes a lot of people. I also want to put up a hospital in our province as well as livelihood programs for the people in my district. These are the projects closest to my heart," he said.
Mayweather, Mosley, Martinez
Pacquiao reiterated that he is not hanging up his boxing gloves and is good for another fight after 6 months.
Asked which boxer he would like to take on, he said he would take on anybody in the ring including World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. The Argentinean Martinez retained his WBC middleweight belt after knocking out American Paul Williams with an impressive second-round punch on Saturday.
Pacquiao said he would most likely fight Martinez below 150 pounds.
He said he is also willing to take on Shane Mosley "since he's a good fighter and a champion."
He also said he will not hesitate to fight the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. if the latter agrees to fight him. "No problem. That would be a good fight."
He thumbed down a rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez "because no one would watch it."
He said fighting Marquez would be easy but that he is unsure if there would be enough people who would watch it on pay-per-view. He also said he wanted a guaranteed price if his promoter decides that he should fight Marquez.
"OK naman ako kapag Marquez. Usually kasi involve ako sa promotion and also the Top Rank, kung gusto nila ng Marquez, mas madali. Madali lang sa akin yun, mas madaling laban kaya lang sila ang magpo-promote. Solohin nila ang promotion bigyan nila kami ng guaranteed price, walang problema, kung malugi man, walang problema," he said.
Pacquiao said he continues to improve in the ring and could easily do 1-2 fights before he retires.
Asked if he wants an "easy or hard fight" next time, he said: "It depends. Depends if it's going to be an easy fight. Sometimes it's a hard fight. Maybe there are no more easy fights."