Pacquiao to make plans recognized upon arrival in Manila, says ally

Pacquiao to make plans known upon arrival in Manila, says ally
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Manny Pacquiao has always loomed large in the sport of boxing; and a loss to Yordenis Ugas (left) won’t be enough to damage his legendary stature. —TEAM PACQUIAO

LOS ANGELES—Manny Pacquiao is ready to announce his plans—both in boxing and politics—when he arrives back in Manila over the weekend.

After taking a full day off on Monday, it was business as usual on Tuesday as he resumed meetings with Team Pacquiao at one of his LA residences along Santa Monica Blvd.

However, he still turned down interview and photograph requests.

Pacquiao, team sources said, plans to leave Los Angeles on Friday, pegging him for a Sunday arrival in Manila.

His ally, former Bacolod Congressman Monico Puentevella, said he’s confident the fighting senator will finally declare his intention to vie for the top position of the land by the time he gets to the Philippines.

Rematch with Ugas?

Also up in the air are his boxing plans. The eight-division champion hinted at retirement but has not given a definitive statement yet.

Pacquiao’s chief trainer and best friend Buboy Fernandez said that if it’s up to him, he’d like the Filipino ring icon to go for a rematch against Yordenis Ugas.

The Cuban wrecked Pacquiao’s plans by winning in dominating fashion last Saturday in their World Boxing Association welterweight super title bout in Las Vegas.

Ugas, 35, had earlier said Pacquiao deserves a rematch.

If such fight gained traction, Pacquiao has a small window in December or January next year to do the fight, according to team sources.

But first, Pacquiao vowed to hurry home “to help my countrymen especially in this pandemic.”

Already, Team Pacquiao insiders feel his future in boxing will depend on his political career, instead of the other way around.

“If he wins as president [of the Philippines], that will be it,” said an insider. “If he loses, most likely he will return to boxing.”

Fernandez said the Ugas debacle must not be the final fight in Pacquiao’s phenomenal career.

“It’s like throwing away all the world titles and recognition he had,” said Fernandez in Filipino. “But in the end, it’s all up to the boss.”

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