BEVERLY HILLS: Manny Pacquiao said he is looking forward to swapping the boxing ring for the political arena on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) as the countdown began towards his farewell fight with long-time American rival Timothey Bradley in April.
Pacquiao, whose last bout was the money-spinning ‘Fight of the Century’ with Floyd Mayweather last May, insisted he will hang up his gloves for good after the third and final instalment of his rivalry with Bradley.
The 37-year-old eight-division world champion is planning to run for a seat in the Philippines senate later this year after already serving as a representative in the Asian country’s congress.
“I’m so happy to be hanging up my gloves after this fight,” Pacquiao told a press conference at the luxury Beverly Hills Hotel.
“I’m sure I will feel sad but that’s life. You can’t keep on fighting all the time. But it’s time I think.
“I started out in boxing because I wanted to help my family, my mother. Now I’m ending my boxing career because I want to help my countrymen, the Filipino people. I’m ending because I want to serve the people.”
Bradley’s WBO welterweight title will be on the line in the April 9 bout at Las Vegas’s MGM Grand in what is the third meeting of the two fighters.
Bradley, (33-1-1, 13 KOs), won a highly controversial split decision against Pacquiao in their first meeting in 2012.
Pacquiao then won their 2014 rematch in Las Vegas with a comfortable unanimous decision to end Bradley’s undefeated record.
The Filipino slugger (57-6-2, 38 KOs) said he is anticipating a sterner challenge from Bradley in their decisive bout.
“I chose Bradley again because he’s different from before,” Pacquiao said.
“He’s improved a lot.”
Bradley meanwhile also warned fans to expect a different fight to the previous two bouts.
“I’ve heard that Manny Pacquiao chose me because he knows me,” Bradley said.
“I think it’s different now. I honestly do. “I think this will be a different fight than the first two altercations. That’s all I can tell you. It’s going to be a great fight — he wants it really badly and so do I.”