x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Manny Pacquiao plays down retirement talk after confirming he wants to fight again

The Filipino star set his sights on his next fight despite the devastating sixth round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.

Prone boxer Manny Pacquiao receives aid after being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez.
Prone boxer Manny Pacquiao receives aid after being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez.

Manny Pacquiao insists his boxing career is not over despite his stunning sixth round knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez yesterday.

The 33-year-old's future had been the subject of much speculation in the immediate aftermath of the defeat, his second since the shock title loss to Tim Bradley in the summer.

The Filipino underwent hospital tests after being left unconscious by Marquez' punishing counterpunch with a second to go of the sixth round during their non-title matchup in Las Vegas.

Trainer Freddie Roach had admitted retirement for the hugely popular fighter was 'possible' after the loss.

But last night Pacquiao said he was focusing on the forthcoming Christmas holidays with his family, then would look to get back in the ring.

""To all my fans, I would like to thank you for your prayers and assure you that I am fine," he said in a statement.

"I am looking forward to a nice rest and then I will be back to fight. On behalf of Jinkee and our family we would like to wish everyone a joyous Christmas and a happy and healthy new year."

The Filipino had delivered a below-par performance against Marquez 13 months ago when he controversially retained his WBO welterweight title by majority decision.

Pacquiao's preparations for that fight were hampered by various distractions, including marital difficulties, but he has since patched up his relationship with his wife and become a much more disciplined boxer after giving up his former pastimes of cockfighting, gambling and nightclubbing.

After losing his welterweight title to Bradley in June, Pacquiao had looked to bring a new focus to his fighting, and had been ahead on all three judges scorecards despite having already been put down once in the fight by the veteran Mexican.

Afterwards, Pacquiao looked to pay tribute to his opponent, who finally claimed a victory at the fourth attempt.

"I want to congratulate Juan Manuel," said Pacquiao.

"I have no excuses. It was a good fight and he deserved the victory. I think boxing fans who watched us were winners too."

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