Philippine boxing star and Senator Manny Pacquiao speaks during a news conference. Photograph: (Reuters)
Back home there were mixed reactions to the boxer's decision to get back to fighting after recently becoming a senator
Filipinos expressed mixed reactions on boxing legend Manny Pacquiao's decision to come out of retirement and get back into the boxing ring.
Pacquiao, who recently became a Philippine senator, announced on Wednesday he will fight World Boxing Organization Welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on November 5 in Las Vegas.
A boxing trainer at a fitness gym in the Philippine capital was in favour of Pacquiao's decision. "We all know that Pacquiao has been boxing since he was a kid. He was so used to boxing his body is looking it," said boxing trainer Jason Olanda.
"It's okay if he wants to continue boxing while doing the duties of a Senator. You only need about three months to train and he can get back to his duties after his match," added Jeffrey Biron, another boxing trainer.
But for college student Steven Jane, Pacquiao should only focus on either being a politician or a boxer.
"Well, saying that he retired from boxing and coming back, I think he should be straight up to his mind what he's supposed to do, because right now it kind of seems he's not really sure what he's doing, because he said he was going to retire but he's now coming back, so I think he should really be focusing only on one thing," he said.
"I'm not saying it's wrong, but for me, his attention will be divided between his work as a senator and as a boxer," said Ralph Alvero, a fruit vendor who has watched all of Pacquiao's fights on television.
Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs), who has won world titles in eight weight divisions, was widely expected to return to the ring at some point.
Pacquiao announced his retirement following an April 9 victory over Timothy Bradley Jr in their third fight, so he could focus on his senate duties in the Philippines. Pacquiao, who was elected to the Philippines senate in May, said he will spend the entire training camp in his home country so he can also attend to his legislative work.