Pacquiao not looking beyond Broner title bout

LOS ANGELES • Filipino multiple world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao said on Wednesday that while he is focused on defending his title against American Adrien Broner, he has considered life beyond the ring.

The World Boxing Association welterweight champion knows he will have his hands full when he battles the hard-hitting Broner in Las Vegas on Jan 19 and is not lining up fighters down the road.

"At the age of 40, it's hard to think about future fights," he said ahead of a workout at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.

"Just one at a time."

Pacquiao is reuniting with longtime trainer Freddie Roach for his clash with Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, following a two-year rupture in what was once regarded as one of the more tightly knit fighter-trainer relationships in boxing.

The pair had worked together for 15 years before parting ways in 2017.

The "Pac-Man" also dismissed concerns that he has lost the knockout power that made him the sport's only eight-division world champion and among the best pound-for-pound fighters of all time.

After a knockout drought, he had a return to form in July when he stunned defending champion Lucas Matthysse with a seventh-round knockout in Kuala Lumpur to claim the welterweight title.

"I still have it," said the soft-spoken Pacquiao, who is 60-7-2 with 39 knockouts in his career.

"God is good," he said with a smile.

He knows, though, that Father Time is undefeated and hanging up his gloves would allow him to embrace his other passion - politics.

Some believe the popular Pacquiao, who is already a senator in the Philippines, could take over from President Rodrigo Duterte when the election to replace the latter is held in 2022.

"Well if God wants me to be, then why not?" he said, when asked if he would like the position.

"But I'm not thinking about that now. Being a public servant is different from sports. It's more on the mind and a lot of problems, thinking about how to solve those problems in the country, and also to provide solutions to those problems."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2019, with the headline 'Pacquiao not looking beyond Broner title bout'. Print Edition | Subscribe