Filipino boxer and congressman Manny Pacquiao said on Tuesday (July 30) he is confident he can beat American Brandon Rios in their November bout.
Pacquiao and Rios are touring China to promote their welterweight fight in Macau, where the Filipino pound-for-pound champion is looking to redeem his knockout loss to Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.
"November 24 is gonna be a good fight and this is a great chance opportunity to promote boxing in China. Please don't miss this, this gonna be a good fight. Thanks so much for my fans especially those Filipino people. We are going to watch on November 24," Pacquiao told reporters in Beijing, one of the stops in China, after kicking off their promotional tour in Macau on Sunday (July 26).
The 27-year-old lightweight champion Rios said he is up for the challenge.
"I'm a warrior, he is a warrior. We both like to trade. So it's gonna be one hell of a fight. Now for us for the fans, everybody around the world gonna to see a tremendous fight. Because like I said, two warriors went at it, but one comes out and I will be ready for 100 percent. And I say thank you, thanks," Rios said.
Pacquiao is taking time off from his legislative duties, having won unopposed for a second term as Congressman of Sarangani province in last May's poll.
Speculation is rife that Pacquiao is contemplating a run for the country's highest office, but he said it is far from his mind at the moment.
"Not in my mind right now, what's in my mind right now is to focus my position as a congressman. And to run for a higher position, maybe, I don't know, it's God's will," he said in an interview with Reuters after the news briefing.
Regarded as a national hero in the Philippines where his rags-to-riches story has inspired millions, the 34-year-old entered politics in 2010.
The fight in November will be Pacquiao's first since his loss to Marquez last December, a defeat that prompted many to suggest he should retire after being left unconscious, face down on the canvas.
However, Pacquiao said retirement is not in his mind right now, and he would fight for two or three more years.
Pacquiao and Rios are expected to visit Shanghai on Wednesday (July 31), followed by visits in Singapore, Bristol, New York and Los Angeles.
Video Credit: Reuters
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