As previously reported, Manny Pacquiao believes he has "a couple more fights" left in him before he retires, starting with his first contest in more than a year when he faces Argentine WBA 'regular' welterweight world champion Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur this July.
"Definitely this is not my last fight," the 39-year-old Filipino said at a news conference in the Malaysian capital on Friday to promote the fight.
"I want my last fight to be in the Philippines, but I still have a couple more fights till I retire," said the former eight-division world champion and serving senator in his homeland.
Pacquiao, who returns to action for the first time since losing on points to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July, said he expected the July 15 bout at the Axiata Arena to be "a real boxing fight".
"Matthysse's style is very aggressive. He'll want to come inside and fight toe-to-toe. You won't see running or dancing in the ring," said Pacquiao, who has a 59-7-2 record with four of those losses coming in his last nine fights.
Matthysse (39-4), who will be making his first title defense, said he expected a "big fight" but believed he had what it took to keep his WBA welterweight crown.
Should Pacquiao win, his target would be WBO super featherweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko, who is moving up to the lightweight limit to challenge WBA champion Jorge Linares on May 12.
Pacquiao vs. Lomachenko would take place at a catch-weight of 140-pounds.
“If he doesn’t win, it is time to step away,” said Pacquiao’s manager Michael Koncz to the Manila Bulletin.
“We’re not overlooking it (Matthysee) because we know he’s a live opponent. It’s not a Brandon Rios-type of opponent so we’re gonna focus on this fight and the whole goal is we look very impressive, we walk away with the win, nobody gets injured, then we fight Lomachenko in the fall. He (Lomachenko) will have to prevail in his upcoming fight, too, it has a lot of moving parts."