Manny Pacquiao insisted that his advancing years were no barrier to success as he gears up for a showdown against WBA "regular" welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse.
Pacquiao, 39, will fight the Argentine – four years his junior – on July 15 [July 14 in America] in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.
The Filipino has won an unprecedented eight world titles in different weight classes but some have raised questions about his ability to box at the top of his game due to his age.
Pacquiao is currently a senator in the Philippines, and many in the country believe he will one day run for president, although the boxer has insisted he is happier in the ring than politics.
Pacquiao has not fought since he lost his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown in a shock points defeat to Australia’s Jeff Horn last year, and has not knocked out an opponent in nearly nine years.
The Kuala Lumpur bout will likely mark the first time in 15 years that Pacquiao will be fighting without his long-standing trainer Freddie Roach. Pacquiao officially parted ways with Hall of Fame coach a few months ago.
For this contest, Pacquiao will be trained by his assistant trainer and best friend, Buboy Fernandez.
"I am ready. I have never predicted the outcome of any of my fights but this training camp is special for many reasons. I am motivated. I am happy. I am hungry. I am excited to show the world a new Manny Pacquiao on July 15 (July 14 in the US) at the Axiata Arena here in Kuala Lumpur," Pacquiao said.
"I have always been a boxer. Boxing has been my country's (Philippines) source of pride and my humble contribution to my fellowmen. When I won one world title after another until we had 10 world titles in eight divisions, it felt like we have won the World Cup many times over."