Pacquiao sets sights on September return
Manny Pacquiao has opened the door to another bout with Juan Manuel Marquez by confirming he will return to the ring in September.
The 34-year-old was knocked out by Marquez and left motionless on the deck in December 2012 and although his opponent is yet to be finalised, Pacquiao says he will be fighting towards the end of the year.
"Tell them [the fans] to be patient. Bob Arum [promoter of Top Rank boxing] and myself have been talking and will continue talking. What is definite is they'll see me fight again come September. Not April nor immediately after that as speculations are going. Tell the public that it won't be long before I make them happy again when I fight," Pacquiao is quoted as saying to the Manila examiner.
"Tell them, too, that I appreciate very much their concern over my well-being when I lost by a knockout to Marquez and during the debate whether to fight in April. I treasure their concern and prayers that I recover quickly from my knockout loss. I want everyone to know that I am well and fully recovered. Thank you very much for everyone's prayers."
On whether the fight will be against Marquez, 'Pac Man' revealed the ball is very much in the Mexican's court.
"Marquez, according to news reports, doesn't want to fight me for the fifth time. It actually is up to him," Pacquiao said on the boxer he first took on in 2004.
"Me? Well, everybody knows I'll fight anyone. I am not scared of anybody. And that is the reason why boxing fans like me so much. I never avoid anyone. I don't choose easy fights. I will fight anybody, anytime, anywhere. If he doesn't want to fight me then I don't want to fight him either. So be it. It's that simple. He says he doesn't want to fight me because he won our last fight? Well, I am still ahead in the tally of our last four fights. I won two, lost one and drew one."