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Original Issue

IRON MANNY

MANNY PACQUIAO STILL A CHAMP AT AGE 40, SI CAUGHT UP WITH THE FILIPINO FIGHTER AFTER HIS DEFEAT OF ADRIEN BRONER IN LAS VEGAS

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SI: So—your first fight at 40. How did you feel in there?

MP: I felt fine. I don't feel 40 in the ring. I feel the same as I always did, just more experienced. The biggest difference is in training. The Jeff Horn fight [in 2017], I felt burned out in training. In the fight my mind wanted to do something, but my body was too tight. I overtrained. The last two fights, I adjusted. Sometimes when I push myself, I can't recover overnight. I have to give my body an extra day to rest.

SI: Broner was pretty upset—he thought he clearly won the fight.

MP: Maybe he was overwhelmed because he survived the 12 rounds? [Trainer] Buboy [Fernandez] kept telling me don't be too aggressive, don't be careless, take your time, it will come. Broner is a counterpuncher, but he didn't want to make any action. So I had to make adjustments to make the action.

SI: When you saw Floyd Mayweather sitting ringside, did you think he was going to get in the ring after and agree to fight you?

MP: I wasn't thinking about that. I knew he was there. He came into my dressing room before, said good luck. I'm still here in boxing. I want to fight the best fighters out there. If he cannot fight on my level, he better stay retired.

SI: When do you plan to fight again?

MP: May or June. I have to balance training with my work in the [Filipino] Senate.

SI: How long do you want to keep fighting?

MP: I think I can fight for two or three more years. My family is very supportive. I've explained to them, my wife, my kids, my mom, this is what I love to do. I feel good, I see the doctor for regular checks.

SI: But why are you still fighting? You're a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

MP: I'm passionate about the sport. It's why I'm still here. [If I retired] I'd have no problem with money. I'm blessed by God. I just want to fight.

SI: So back to the Philippines, back to the Senate?

MP: I'll be in the office [this] week. There are a lot of bills that need to pass. We just passed the tobacco tax increase. That was very important. The government needs the extra money. I passed a bill for the protection of overseas workers. I want to start a Philippine boxing commission. We need protections, proper requirements to help fighters. I want to make ROTC mandatory. We need more soldiers. Not only for wars, but for dealing with disasters.

SI: Do you want to run for president of your country?

MP: Right now I don't have a plan to run for president. But if that comes calling, why not?