MANILA // Manny Pacquiao said today he plans to retire by the time he reaches 35 in three years, after his latest win over Antonio Margarito cemented his boxing superstar status.
Asked at a news conference in Manila when he intends to retire, Pacquiao, who turns 32 next month, said: "Not too long from now, but I don't want to go beyond 35."
The boxing champion also said he is willing to fight the Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez again but that it would probably not excite fans.
"I think people are not so interested because if I were a boxing fan, I would not watch Pacquiao vs Marquez," he said.
He said he has no problem fighting Marquez and can sign a contract anytime as long as the promoter is Marquez's own, negotiations are fair and he has a guaranteed prize.
Pacquiao, who was elected representative of southern Sarangani province in national elections in the Philippines in May, has embraced local politics and surprised many by taking his new job as seriously as boxing.
He said he had initiated steps to build the first provincial hospital for Sarangani's 500,000 residents, in addition to offering programmes for the poor.
In his speech accepting a congressional award, Pacquiao said he was inspired in the ring by the love for his country, and that his achievements show that Filipinos can excel against all odds.
"My championship belt in the eighth weight division, the first in the history of boxing, shall forever cement the Filipino people as the eighth wonder of the world," Pacquiao said.