BOXING superstar Manny Pacquiao returned home to a hero’s welcome on early Thursday morning after his triumphant farewell fight against American Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas, and said he is “leaving the door open” for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather.
“I don’t want to say something that you know we don’t know yet,” said Pacquiao, who is not sure whether to hang his gloves, as he seems to be waiting for “a green signal for a rematch” with the unbeaten Mayweather, who is now retired. “I don’t know what the feeling is going to be like when I’m retired.”
Pacquiao arrived with his family aboard Philippine Airlines flight PR 103 at the Terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), and was greeted by fans and passengers, who took selfies with him.
Security personnel had to whisk him away from the crowd and made a brief arrival news conference at the airport’s lobby, where he discussed his retirement and future plans.
“Yes, I am retired – as of now,” Pacquiao said, refusing to categorically say that he is officially retired from boxing. “I want to be with my family and to serve my people.”
When asked about this, Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee replied that the people’s champ is retiring and “it’s up to him if he leaves his door open for another fight.”
Pacquiao thanked his fans and supporters for the endless support they have given to him.
On his match against Bradley, Pacquiao said he was able to adjust quickly to the game of his opponent, who become a counter-puncher and scientific in his boxing style during their third and recent fight.
There have been speculations that a rematch of the richest fight in boxing history is under discussion, with the foreign media reporting April 13 on the promoter Bob Arum as saying about a “better than 50-50 chance” of Mayweather-Pacquiao II.
Asked about his conditions, Pacquiao said, “Nothing has changed and I have the same feeling just like before.” BENJIE VERGARA