Eight-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao believes he has two or three years of fighting left before he quits the sport and still retains the hope of securing a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Two straight defeats, the second a brutal sixth round knockout by old foe Juan Manuel Marquez in December, prompted pundits and fans to suggest retirement for the 34-year-old Filipino.
But he will step back in the ring after an extended break on November 24 to take on Brandon Rios for a first fight in Macau, keen to re-establish himself as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. Pacquiao, who said three years ago his mother had given her blessing for him to fight once more, remains open to both options and has no plans to call it quits any time soon.
“I'm not really sure (how many fights left) as long as I can still fight I can fight. In my mind right now, maybe I can still fight maybe two to three years from now. I tell you frankly, honestly in myself I can still fight and I feel strong. If there is something wrong in my body or something wrong in my boxing skill I have to think about that and think about retirement," Pacquiao said. “But since I lost the last fight, I never feel something (wrong) in my body, I still feel strong and I can still fight.”
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum hopes that lucrative offer from a venue in Asia might finally lead to a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao.
“Never say never,” Arum said on Mayweather-Pacquiao. “I think when Floyd realizes the economic benefits of doing a fight in Asia, maybe at the new Singapore stadium ... maybe that will open up a dialogue for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in Asia.”