Manny Pacquiao hasn’t had much time for boxing. He has been busy with a presidential election campaign that resulted in a third place finish with 3.6 million Filipinos voting for him.

But having failed in his bid to become president Pacquiao now has some spare time on his hands, he recently holidayed in Japan, and now looks set to rekindle his interest in boxing. Pacquiao will be ringside next week for the lightweight title fight between George Kambosos Jnr and Devin Haney.

Kambosos Jnr is a former sparring partner of Pacquiao’s and he told the Daily Mail that the multiple time world champion would be in attendance at Marvel Stadium,

“I’m hearing he is going to be here so I look forward to catching up with him. Unfortunately he didn’t succeed in his recent bid to become president of the Philippines but he is a strong man so I’m sure he’ll continue to push for the next election.”

Hundreds of rounds

The two first met five years ago when they were both training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. Pacquiao had already established himself as one of the best boxers of the century and he saw the potential in the young Australian,

“Back then, he said to me that I’d become world champion and hearing that from an all-time great, hearing that from a guy like Manny Pacquiao, that gave me that extra boost. He told me in 2017 that I could be world champion right now, but I said no I’m going to be patient, my time will come.”

The two men have sparred for hundreds of rounds and Kambosos says it was a valuable experience for him as he set out to claim his first world title,

“My time with Manny Pacquiao was invaluable for my career especially earlier in my career when I was doing my 12-round preparation like he was. I knew that when I got to my championship fight I would know exactly what I had to do to become victorious and become world champion.”

Three belts

Kambosos didn’t achieve his goal of becoming a world champion until last year. He beat Teofimo Lopez by split decision to win the WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight titles.

All three belts will be on the line when he faces Haney. Both men are undefeated with perfect professional records and 50,000 fans are expected to attend a venue that is more commonly used for Australian Rules Football than boxing.

In 2017 Pacquiao fought in Australia. His WBO welterweight title was on the line and Jeff Horn claimed a very controversial decision win with the vast majority of people feeling that the Filipino should have won the fight.

If the judges decide to favour the hometown fighter next week we suspect that, this time, the Filipino won’t be complaining!