Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has arrived in Australia to start a promotional tour and prepare for his fight against the undefeated Jeff Horn in what is set to be the biggest boxing match ever held down under.
Ahead of their fight at Suncorp Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 55,000, Pacquiao admitted that he knew little about the ex-school teacher and his camp said that they wanted to use this fight against Horn to say "say hi to the Australian fans" before they go after another shot at booking a match between him and Amir Khan.
Pacquiao was initially set to face Horn but his promoter decided to go after a mega money fight in the UAE against Khan but that fight never materialized. However, despite his camp determined to set up a fight between the two, Pacquiao wants to use this fight against Horn as an opportunity to show the boxing world that he is still the best and that he is not yet done with the sport.
Since coming out of retirement, Pacquiao has defeated Jessie Vargas to claim the WBO title last November and has been balancing life as a boxer and as a Philippines senator but assured fans that boxing is still his passion.
"I want to defend my crown and to prove I am still there in boxing - I am not done yet in boxing. Despite my business in the office as a senator I am still handling my boxing career. Boxing is my passion. I started when I was young - it's part of my life," Daily Mail quoted Pacquiao as saying.
Ahead of Pacquiao's first fight since November 2016, there were a lot of questions asked regarding his form and his effectiveness at this advanced stage of his career. The fact that he has not stopped an opponent since he knocked out Miguel Cotto in 2009 could be a cause for concern but Pacquiao believes he is still one of the best.
"I'm not going to predict the fight, but I will do my best to entertain the fans. I'm very excited to fight here. I've fought a lot of fighters in the states. This is new, I'm excited. I can't wait for the fight," Pacquiao said.
The Filipino boxing legend also had a direct message for his opponent that said: "Work hard, show you are in 100 per cent condition on July 2 so we can entertain the people."
Checkout some of Manny Pacquiao's best wins via knockout throughout his career