Manny the Sen­a­tor pre­pares for Var­gas fight

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

FILIPINO star Manny Pac­quiao says he re­mains un­de­cided about his fu­ture in box­ing be­yond this year, in­sist­ing he is not look­ing past his up­com­ing world ti­tle bout with Jessie Var­gas.

Pac­quiao re­turns to the ring to face World Box­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion wel­ter­weight cham­pion Var­gas on Novem­ber 5, three months after end­ing his four-month “re­tire­ment”.

But the 37-year-old eight di­vi­sion world cham­pion said he has not thought about his plans after the Var­gas fight as he con­tin­ues to jug­gle the de­mands of the sport and his du­ties as a newly elected mem­ber of the Philip­pines Se­nate.

“Right now my fo­cus is on this fight. Then I go back and do my job, then I could think about 2017,” Pac­quiao told re­porters on a con­fer­ence call.

Asked if he ex­pected to fight again, he added, “I don’t know yet. One fight at a time. I can­not say yes right now.

“To­day, Jessie Var­gas is the most im­por­tant fight of my ca­reer.”

Pac­quiao’s vet­eran pro­moter Bob Arum be­lieves that the Filipino icon will re­main in de­mand if he pro­duces a con­vinc­ing win over Var­gas.

“If Manny comes in and dom­i­nates this fight and looks like the old Manny, and wants to con­tinue fight­ing, there will be cer­tain op­po­nents that will be con­sid­ered,” he said.

“If he de­cides that it’s too much jug­gling two ca­reers, then he shouldn’t con­tinue.

“If he is de­ter­mined to con­tinue and his per­for­mance suf­fers be­cause of his work in the Se­nate, I would have to look in the di­rec­tion of some­body else for an op­po­nent.”

Pac­quiao mean­while ad­mit­ted that jug­gling his work­load as a pugilis­tic politi­cian had proven de­mand­ing.

“I can say that work­ing in the Se­nate is not easy, es­pe­cially, along with train­ing,” he said. “You need to man­age your time and that’s what I did in train­ing for this fight while I am work­ing in the of­fice.

“I don’t have time re­ally for any other ac­tiv­i­ties – all of my time is with work­ing and train­ing.”

Pac­quiao’s long-time trainer Fred­die Roach, who over­saw a camp in the Philip­pines be­fore the duo re­turned to Los An­ge­les last week­end, said he had de­tected a more se­ri­ous side to the boxer.

“I know it’s been a very dif­fi­cult camp with the Se­nate and so forth,” Roach said.

“Manny has al­ways been a busy per­son but be­cause of the Se­nate he seems to be a lot more se­ri­ous than any­thing else he has done. He is in Se­nate ses­sions on some nights un­til 7:30 or 8 at night and when he is done we go right to the gym.” –

Photo: EPA

Manny Pac­quiao of the Philip­pines cel­e­brates after de­feat­ing Ti­mothy Bradley of the USA in their WBO In­ter­na­tional Wel­ter­weight Cham­pi­onship ti­tle at the MGM Grand Gar­den Arena in Las Ve­gas, Ne­vada, on April 9.

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