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I’ll go back to our country a champion

Saying retiring is far from his mind, World Boxing welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has assured
all and sundry that he does not intend to lose his coming fight against his Australian challenger Jeff Horn.

“No, I came here in Brisbane a champion, I’ll go back to our country a champion,” the 38-year-old fighting senator vowed in a
long distance telephone talk to this writer Wednesday.

“As in all my previous fights, I do not intend to lose this one because I, too, do not intend to retire. Not yet, anyway,” he said rather
emphatically.

“Bago ako umalis sa bayan natin, naipangako ko na sa sarili ko na bibigyan ko muli ang mga kababayan ng kampeonato. Kasama na dyan ang lahat ng boxing fans sa buong mundo, he said. “Tutuparin ko yan.”

The Pambansang Kamao squares off with the no. 2 former physical education teacher contender on Sunday in Brisbane’s 55,000-seat Suncorp Arena with his 147-pound belt at stake.

“As I have been saying, I prepared long and hard for this fight, sacrificing my time doubling as a lawmaker precisely for that purpose,”
he said. “Hindi ko sasayangin ang panahong ginugol ko sa ensayo at sa pagiging mambabatas ng ganun lang. Away from my family at
that.”

The eight-division champion was referring to wife Jinkee and five children – Jimmuel,Michael,Princess,Queenie and Israel, whom
he left in hometown General Santos City for at least a month to train in Manila.

“Not that I’m undermining Jeff’s capabilities. I’m not even saying that there’s no way he can beat me. Of course he can. He’s young, strong and
hungry,” he remarked. Pacquiao recalled that after the Tim Bradley III he tried to hang his gloves only to come back just months
later.

“Because I missed boxing. I missed everything connected to the sport. Boksing is my life as I have been telling everyone repeatedly. Marami nang
nagawa sa aking buhay ang boksing. At marami din naman ako sigurong nagawa sa boksing at kapuwa ko boksingero,” he relayed. “They say that by
coming here to fight’ I’ll be helping to revive boxing in Australia. Good, I’m honoured to hear that, Very flaterring.
Imagine makakatulong ako, Manny Pacquiao, na buhayin ang boking dito sa bansang ito at mga bayang iba pang karatig

“Isang malaking karangalan sa akin, sa aking pamilya at maging sa Pilipinas at lahing Pilipino, “ he exclaimed. “May mga nagsabi
din na may mga boksingero akong natulungan earned big money just for fighting me. I’m happy to hear that.

Napakagandang pakinggan,”he said with a proud voice.

“Alam mo, yang mga papuring yan, nakakataba ng puso. Hindi naman lahat kasi ng nilalang napapapurihan ng ganyan. Not every Tom, Dick
and Harry is given that praise.

I’m really grateful to God for giving me a kind heart,” he said.