Pacquiao feels the love ahead of ring return


Manny Pacquiao claims his love for boxing drew him back to the sport for Saturday's WBO welterweight showdown with Jessie Vargas.

The 37-year-old, a world champion across eight weight divisions ranging from flyweight to light-middleweight, defeated Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision in the rubber match of their trilogy in April.

He entered an ultimately short-lived retirement after that bout and was elected to the Philippines Senate a month later, but the lure of the ring soon proved too great and he will look to embellish upon a professional record of 58 wins, six defeats and two draws against Californian Vargas (27-1) at Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center.

"I decided to continue my journey in boxing because boxing is my passion," Pacquiao told Omnisport.

"I don't know [how long the comeback will last] yet but I decided to come back in boxing because I believe that boxing still loves me and I love boxing. I missed boxing.

"I continue my boxing career because I still believe, especially after the result of my last fight with Bradley. My performance showed I can still fight.

"Politics is different and I guess I have to balance and manage it.

"While I'm in training, or working in the office it is about time-management and discipline and then everything is fine."

Pacquiao expects a stern challenge from Vargas, who is coming off a career-best eighth-round stoppage of Sadam Ali to win the title last time out, bouncing back from a controversial loss to Bradley - something he shares in common with a man 10 years his senior.

"Jessie Vargas is a champion so I don't want to underestimate him," Pacquiao added.

"I'm not taking him lightly, I've trained seriously for this fight. I want to be a champion again."

"If the knockout comes it will come. I will do my best."