Manila - Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao confirmed on Wednesday
that he is coming out of retirement to fight World Boxing Organization (WBO)
welterweight champion Jessie Vargas in November.
The 37-year-old Filipino, who has won world titles in eight
weight divisions, made the announcement after meeting with legendary fight
promoter Bob Arum in Manila on Tuesday.
"Yes, the fight is on. I have agreed to a November 5
fight with reigning WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas," Pacquiao
said in a statement.
"Boxing is my passion. I miss what I'd been doing
inside the gym and atop the ring."
After winning a unanimous decision against American Timothy
Bradley in April, Pacquiao had said he would retire to focus on his political
Pacquiao was elected to the Philippine senate in May but
even before taking office, he said he was open to fighting again.
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"Boxing is my main source of income. I can't rely on my
salary as public official.
"I'm helping the family of my wife and my own family,
as well. Many people also come to me to ask for help and I just couldn't ignore
them," he said on Wednesday.
The American 27-year-old Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) said last
week he was in talks with Pacquiao's camp to hold a fight in Las Vegas and
Pacquiao's manager Michael Koncz confirmed Wednesday a promotional tour for the
fight would be held from September 8-10 in Los Angeles.
Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) said he would return to the
Philippines straight after promoting the fight to keep up his political duties.
"My entire training camp will be held here in the
Philippines so I can attend to my legislative works. This is my campaign
promise and I'm determined to keep it," said Pacquiao.
During his previous stint as a congressman in Philippines
the House of Representatives before being elected to the upper house, Pacquiao
faced criticism for being among the top absentee lawmakers.For
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