Despite losing his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) welterweight title to Jeff Horn amid controversy, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao quashed rumours of a potential retirement on Wednesday.
The 38-year-old Filipino uploaded a bloodied image of himself on his Instagram profile with the caption: “I love this sport and until the passion is gone, I will continue to fight for God, my family, my fans and my country”.
Affectionally called Pac-Man by boxing fans, the veteran pugilist lost his bout against Australian Horn on July 2 and many, including his trainer Freddie Roach, called for Pacquiao to hang up his gloves for good.
The WBO reviewed the decision after under pressure from Pacquiao’s camp, but the independent panel found that Horn had won the fight, much to the dismay of the legions of fans the Filipino boxer has.
Pacquiao had initially retired in 2016 to pursue a political career in his homeland but despite being elected to the senate, he made a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in November.
Horn has repeatedly welcomed suggestions of a rematch and it remains to be seen if Pacquiao will take up the Australian's offer.