California: Manny Pacquiao said he is looking forward to swapping the boxing ring for the political arena on Tuesday as the countdown began towards his farewell fight with long-time American rival Timothey Bradley in April.
Pacquiao, whose last bout was the money-spinning `Fight of the Century` with Floyd Mayweather last May, insisted he will hang up his gloves for good after the third and final instalment of his rivalry with Bradley.
The 37-year-old eight-division world champion is planning to run for a seat in the Philippines senate later this year after already serving as a representative in the Asian country`s congress.
"I`m so happy to be hanging up my gloves after this fight," Pacquiao told a press conference at the luxury Beverly Hills Hotel.
"I`m sure I will feel sad but that`s life. You can`t keep on fighting all the time. But it`s time I think.
"I started out in boxing because I wanted to help my family, my mother. Now I`m ending my boxing career because I want to help my countrymen, the Filipino people. I`m ending because I want to serve the people."
Bradley`s WBO welterweight title will be on the line in the April 9 bout at Las Vegas`s MGM Grand in what is the third meeting of the two fighters.
Bradley, (33-1-1, 13 KOs), won a highly controversial split decision against Pacquiao in their first meeting in 2012.
Pacquiao then won their 2014 rematch in Las Vegas with a comfortable unanimous decision to end Bradley`s undefeated record.
The Filipino slugger (57-6-2, 38 KOs) said he is anticipating a sterner challenge from Bradley in their decisive bout.
"I chose Bradley again because he`s different from before," Pacquiao said.
"He`s improved a lot."
Bradley meanwhile also warned fans to expect a different fight to the previous two bouts.
"I`ve heard that Manny Pacquiao chose me because he knows me," Bradley said.
"I think it`s different now. I honestly do. "I think this will be a different fight than the first two altercations. That`s all I can tell you. It`s going to be a great fight -- he wants it really badly and so do I."