Manila: Despite his shock knock-out loss to rival Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on Saturday, Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has defied calls for his early retirement.
Pacquiao has also announced he wants his next fight to take place in April 2013 and invited guests to his 34th birthday celebrations in his hometown in the southern Philippines on December 17, five days after his arrival in Manila on December 12.
“We will continue [boxing]. No harm was done...It’s possible that there will be a fifth bout [with Marquez]. I’m still ahead of him 2-1-1. That will be a good fight which boxing fans will love to see. I’ll give him a chance to even up with me,” Pacquiao told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
“We will get back at each other. We will make our people happy,” Pacquiao added.
Analysing the fight that he lost, Pacquiao said, “I was winning, according to the judges. What a waste. In fact, I was about to finish him off on a second left of the sixth [round]. But then, I was untimely surprised [by Marquez’ knock-out blow].”
“When the sixth round started, I knew I had him already. He was breathing badly because of the blood oozing from his broken nose. I felt I could still give him one more round on his corner. But he managed to insert his right fist,” Pacquiao continued.
“I faked him twice with my right [fist, and the plan was] to follow it up with my left but I was stopped instead by his right fist. That also happened to me [in my fight] against Rustico Torreocampo,” Pacquiao compared his loss to Marquez to the one he suffered against Torreocampo in 1996.
“I was sorry for the loss. That’s part of the game. That’s sports. Someone wins, someone loses. If you don’t want to lose, don’t engage in sports,” was Pacquiao’s philosophical response to his loss.
“I feel sad for losing, but at the same time happy because the fans were cheering during the fight; that we were able to make them happy. It is actually what I like to see whenever I fight. I like what fans like to see,” he explained.
Shrugging off a sense of mournfulness among his fans, Pacquiao gamely told reporters in Los Angeles: “We will celebrate my birthday despite my loss. That has been planned even before I left Manila. Let’s see each other there.”
Apart from boxing and celebrating his birthday, Pacquiao said he had “no immediate plans”.
“First, I’ll rest with my children; I miss them so much. And I will start doing the job that I left behind in Congress,” he said.