Manny Pacquiao says he feels young again after a two-year layoff as he prepares to fight Errol Spence for two welterweight world titles.
The eight-division world champion will fight American Spence for the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Council titles on August 21 in Las Vegas.
“I could have fought several easy opponents. I picked the best opponent because I want to add more to my legacy and accomplishments. I have to prove that I’m not done yet,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao, who is 62-7 with two draws and 39 knockouts, last fought in July 2019 when he defeated American Keith Thurman for the WBA version of the 147-pound title.
However, due to inactivity, the Philippine senator’s crown was stripped from him in January.
“It has been two years since I’ve been in the ring and it was good for me to have that rest,” he said.
“It helped my body and my mind a lot. This time around, I’m as excited as ever and feeling like I’m young again,” he added.
“I never imagined being at this point now when I started my career. To be here now and still fighting the best, it’s truly a gift that I’ve received,” he further said.
After his fight with Spence, Pacquiao’s future in the ring appeared to be in jeopardy.
“This could be my last fight or there could be more. Like I’ve always said, it’s one at a time. After the fight, I’ll talk about the plan and see if there’s another fight coming,” he said.
“I want to fight and bring honor to my country. At the same time, I’m also here to show for myself that I can still do it at 42,” he added.
As he prepares for an aggressive opponent in Spence, who is 27-0 with 21 knockouts, Pacquiao said he still feels the same passion he has felt in training for the past 15 years.
“I have lots of advantages in this fight. My speed and power, along with my strategy and experience, are all advantages for me,” Pacquiao said.
“We have a strategy that we know how to use against a southpaw. He wants to fight toe-to-toe and that’s going to be to my advantage. We’re prepared for anything. If he wants to use his reach advantage instead, we’re ready,” he added.