Pacman feels like starting over
By Abac Cordero Updated Tuesday April 15, 2014 - 12:00am

HOLLYWOOD - As the 50-seater bus rolled down the highway on a sunlit Sunday afternoon, Manny Pacquiao sat on the front seat, dark aviator glasses on, a smile on his face.

It was 4 p.m. or barely 20 hours after he beat Timothy Bradley and regained the WBO welterweight crown at the MGM when Pacquiao and his huge entourage drove back to Los Angeles.

In the middle of the long six-hour ride, Pacquiao got up his seat walked down the aisle to greet his passengers or at least those who were awake. He walked further down to use the lavatory.

The newly crowned world champion was in high spirits. He talked about his immediate plans in boxing and the excitement he feels deep within.

"Excited na naman ako eh. Parang nagsisimula pa lang ako. Masarap (It feels like I'm just getting started. It feels good)," he said.

"At least napatunayan ko na may ibubuga pa naman ako (I proved that I still have what it takes)," Pacquiao added.

Before he faced Bradley in the rematch, serious doubts were raised that it could be Pacquiao's last fight. He has lost two of his last three and couldn't afford another defeat.

Pacquiao faced a must-win situation against Bradley.

But he managed, and in sterling fashion, with great handspeed and just enough power that was needed, he dominated Bradley early and later in the match and won convincingly.

Pacquiao gained some measure of revenge over Bradley who in June 2012 fought the Filipino and got away with a controversial decision that made the latter look like a thief.

First, the 35-year-old Pacquiao closed the door on a third fight with Bradley.

"Wala na. Wala na manonood (No one will watch). Dalawang beses na eh (It's been two times already). Pag may pangatlo babagsak na siya (In a third fight he will go down)," he said.

This early, Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, is looking at Pacquiao fighting in November. And it's a fight that could take place in Las Vegas or Macau.

"Tama lang yun (It's fine with me)," said Pacquiao, standing in the middle of the aisle.

"Pero tsaka na natin isipin kung sino ang kalaban. Basta boxer (Let's think of that later on)," said Pacquiao.

Before he climbed the ring against Bradley, there was already some sort of agreement that the winner will face the winner of the Juan Manuel Marquez vs Mike Alvarado fight on May 17.

Pacquiao is ready for either Marquez or Alvarado.

"Okay ako dun," he said.

"May fight pa si Marquez. Magandang laban yun. Puwede si Alvarado," Pacquiao added.

Without being asked, the congressman from Sarangani said he's still in the process of becoming his old self.  

"Ibabalik natin yung rapid fire natin," he promised.

For how long does he intend to continue fighting, Pacquiao said he doesn't know. But there's no expiration date on it, he insisted.

Could it be longer than two years?

"If it's God's will. Why not di ba? If it's God's will," he said.

"Basta ibabalik ko pa yung aggressiveness ko and killer instinct. Yung pang (Miguel) Cotto at pang (Oscar dela Dela Hoya (But I will work on regaining my killer instinct)," Pacquiao told the scribes.

"And at least unti-unti ko na naibabalik (Slowly I'm getting it back). Isang taon kasi ako lay-off eh (I was out of the ring for a year)," he said.

The Pacquiao that showed up at the MGM last Saturday is not yet the Pacquiao of old.

"Hindi pa yan yung Manny Pacquiao na hinahanap ko," he said.

Pacquiao vowed that there's more to come.

As he spoke, Pacquiao pulled out from his pocket half a dozen Sharpei markers. He said it's better to have them if and when needed.

In no time, he was being asked to sign a lot of stuff, from t-shirts, posters, dollar bills (which he declined to sign) and even laptop covers.

It took him quite a while to get through.

"Hindi sumakit ang kamay ko sa laban. Dito sasakit sa pag-pirma (My hand didn't hurt during the fight but it will with all this signing)," he said.

 

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