Just days after turning 44, Manny Pacquiao reached out for his smartphone while lying in bed and told his caller he felt great.
“I don’t feel like I am 44 years old,” Pacquiao told the guy on the lone line who had jokingly asked the eight-division champion how it felt to be in his mid-forties.
“I feel like I am just 28,” he hollered.
After exchanging pleasantries, the topic revolved around a possible ring comeback and a proposal for him to close out his legendary career with a farewell fight on home soil.
“Yes, that’s true,” Pacquiao said from his hometown of General Santos City.
Everything is still in the exploratory stage, though.
But Pacquiao admits he believes his body can still cope with the rigors of tough training provided he trains longer than usual.
“When you are young and getting ready for a (world title) fight, all you need is a two-month training camp,” Pacquiao said.
“But when you are at this stage, you need an extra two weeks or four weeks or a full month to the usual two months,” he said.
Pacquiao said extending the length of the camp is for “recovery time.”
The Filipino southpaw, a first-ballot Hall of Famer when his time for induction comes, retired after getting beaten by Yordenis Ugas of Cuba in Las Vegas.
But early this month, Pacquiao reemerged and fought an exhibition in Seoul, Korea, where he overwhelmed mixed-martial arts specialist DK Yoo in six rounds.
Obviously pulling back his punches, Pacquiao dropped the grossly overmatched Korean a few times before being declared the winner on points.
Still, his recent outing doesn’t compare to a regular fight in the pros.
While he trained almost daily while revving up for Yoo, it was evident Pacquiao was training to just keep himself in shape and not to engage in a bloodbath that usually happens in a boxing bout.
In the event Pacquiao changes his mind and fights again, he has to contend with a pair of champions who are more than ten years younger and a lot fresher.
Pacquiao swears he is unfazed.