By Kristel Satumbaga
Manny Pacquiao is not giving up on his dream of fighting in front of his hometown fans before calling it a day.
While negotiations are underway for him to fight Jeff Horn in a rematch in Brisbane, Pacquiao said yesterday that there are people in the country working to stage his next fight here.
“Pangarap ko na magkaroon ako ng isa pang fight dito sa Pilipinas tapos, tapos na,” said the eight-division boxing champion during the launching of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League at the Aristocrat Restaurant in Malate, Manila.
But Pacquiao swears nothing’s been finalized yet.
“Wala pa naman. Hindi pa na-finalize kung sino ang makakalaban ko,” said Pacquiao.
“Negotiation is ongoing so hindi pa rin natin ma-predict kung saan. Pero para sa akin, mas maganda dito sa Pilipinas. Sinisikap natin na dito sa Pilipinas,” added the 38-year-old Pacquiao.
Last July before more than 51,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium, Pacquiao surrendered the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown to Horn.
Ringsiders thought Pacquiao was robbed of a victory.
The government has been working feverishly to have Pacquiao’s fight here with the Department of Tourism even making an announcement last week that the fight will be held at the 52,000-capacity Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
The last time Pacquiao fought on local soil was in July 2006 against Oscar Larios of Mexico.
Asked about the ballyhooed Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor match, Pacquiao said the Irishman simply ran out of gas.
“Kinapos,” he said.
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