By Edward Chaykovsky
Michael Koncz, the adviser to eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38KOs), had a "heart to heart" conversation with the Filipino star. Koncz got a real sense that the "the fire is still burning inside him."
Pacquiao, 37-years-old, is planning to retire following his scheduled trilogy fight with Timothy Bradley on April 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The retirement decision was determined to allow Pacquiao to pursue his political career on a full-time basis. He is running for a senate seat in the Philippines.
In the first bout, Bradley won a controversial twelve round split decision in 2012, but Pacquiao got revenge with a unanimous decision victory in the 2014 rematch.
A two city press tour begins this week, with the first stop taking place in Los Angeles on Tuesday and then heading to New York City on Wednesday.
“He told me that when he gets back from the press tour, he will begin training and I think that he will be going to the gym before the end of this month,” said Koncz to the Manila Bulletin.
Koncz, who is in the process of finalizing the sparring partners and training camp details, told the paper that Pacquiao plans to spend at least the first half of training in General Santos City.
Bradley is coming into the fight with new trainer Teddy Atlas, who replaced former coach Joel Diaz late last year. Pacquaio returns for the first time since losing a twelve round unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May. Following that loss, he underwent surgery for an injured right shoulder and that kept him on the shelf for the remainder of 2015.