With another world title won, Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao touched down in Manila today keen to get back to the real work of politics.
The 37-year-old senator claimed the WBO welterweight title with a unanimous points victory over American Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas on Saturday, his first bout since April.
“I went back after the fight because there is still work at the office and I’m excited to get back to work,” Pacquiao, wearing a flower garland, told reporters at the airport alongside Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa.
“So boxing is done, set aside for now, and just focus on work.”
The southpaw, winner of world titles in eight different weight divisions and the first sitting senator to win a world boxing championship, has not ruled out fighting again.
The former congressman, who has a 59-6-2 win-loss-draw record, said after Saturday’s bout that he would like a rematch with retired American Floyd Mayweather Junior who beat him last year.
Pacquiao had announced his retirement after beating Timothy Bradley in April.
On Saturday night the judges scored the bout 114-113, 118-109 and 118-109 in favour of the veteran Filipino. Mayweather Jr had a ringside seat.
“Not bad,” Mayweather said, giving Pacquiao a thumbs-up after the fight.
Pacquiao returned to what he called his “passion” after quitting boxing to win election to the senate in the Philippines.
Despite giving away 10 years to his opponent, Pacquiao fought with more intensity and energy.
Pacquiao pressed the fight from the opening bell, trying to score a knockdown. He looked as if he would when he caught Vargas with a straight left that put him on the canvas in the second, but Vargas got up quickly.
Vargas had difficulty dealing with Pacquiao’s speed, but was more than willing to trade punches to try to lure him into a brawl.
He succeeded in the eighth, but came off worse when he suffered a cut in an accidental clash of heads. Pacquiao increasingly dominated in the final rounds to close out an emphatic victory.
“I feel I could have done more but every round I tried to knock him out,” Pacquiao said.