World Boxing Association regular welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who had outpointed Adrien Broner to retain his belt two Saturdays ago, said on Thursday he’s ready to fight two more times before year’s end to complete a three-fight 2019 in celebration of his 40th year as a prizefighter.
Asked of his immediate plan during a thanksgiving party he hosted for local sports media at the Shangrila Hotel in Makati, the Filipino ring great said he prefers arch-rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. to be his dancing partner the next time he climbs the ring.
“But just in case Floyd isn’t ready yet to unretire as he promised when we met in Tokyo last year, I can face anybody in the top list, including Keith Thurman, who I learned is willing to do battle with me,” the 40-year-old said.
“A I said two weeks ago after beating Broner, I’ll fight anybody na gusting lumaban sa akin,” he asserted. “Kilala na naman ninyo ako, hindi ako pumipili ng kalaban. Whoever my promoters put on the table, puwede
“Errol Spence Jr., Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porte Bring them all on. Basta gusto rin nila pasayahin ang fans sa magandang laban, laban din tayo, he said. “Dalawang laban na naman nanapatunayan natin na kaya pa, so samantalahin na natin hangggang my speed and strength are still there.”
“Kahit sino makalaban ko sa kanila, magandang tuneu for the Mayweather 2, just in case he’s ready to fight this year, he added smiling.
July last year, Pacquao TKOed Lucas Mathysse in seven rounds to take a piece of the 147-pound jewel he lost to Australian Jeff Horn a year back. He followed this up with that unanimous decision triumph over Broner last January 19 at the MGM Grand.
“It’s a matter of how you train lang naman yan eh. Walang sekreto. And the way I see it, mas solid ang preparasyon namin nitong huling dalawang laban. My training team is more solid now than before. Mas nagkakaintindihan na kami,” he said.
Pacquiao was referring to his coaching team headed by Buboy Fernandez, conditioning guru Justin Fortune, Nonloy Neri, Roger “Haplas” Fernandez and consultant Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao’s three-fight performance in a year happened in 2008, the year he considered his best year, beating Juan Manuel Marquez by split decision March that year to crown himself the WBC super-featherweight king, David Diaz, who he TKOed in nine rounds for the WBC lightweight diadem.
He ended that year by retiring legendary Oscar DeLa Hoya in nine in his first fight as a welterweight.
He, too, fought and won thrice in 2003, including a TKO of Marco Antonio Barrera at the San Antonio Alamodome on November 15 to clinch he RING featherweight plum.
Pacquiao’s busiest yea was in 1995 when he started his po-career, climbing the squared ring 10 times and winning all his assignments.
By EDDIE G. ALINEA