Philippine Boxing Icon Pacquiao To Return To Ring In November

Philippine boxing icon and Senator Manny Pacquiao has confirmed he will return to the ring and fight American boxer Jessie Vargas in November.

The eight-division boxing champion made the announcement after a meeting with his promoter, Top Rank head Bob Arum, in Manila late Tuesday.

"Yes, the fight is on," he told reporters after the meeting, according to Philboxing website. "I have agreed to a November 5 fight with reigning WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas."

Pacquiao, who won a seat in the Philippine Senate in elections in May, said he was excited about the fight, which comes after he announced his retirement from boxing in April when he won against American boxer Timothy Bradley.

"Boxing is my passion," he said. "I miss what I'd been doing inside the gym and atop the ring."

The senator promised that his training would not affect his work.

"My entire training camp will be held here in the Philippines so I can attend to my legislative works," he said. "This is my campaign promise and I'm determined to keep it."

On Monday, Pacquiao called for the restoration of the death penalty in the predominantly Catholic country, saying it was "approved by God."

"When the government punishes, it's not an individual act. That's approved by God. That's what the Bible says," he said in his first speech as a senator.

"Having read the Bible on a regular basis, I am convinced that God is not just a God of mercy, but he is also a God of justice," he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte has called for the reinstatement of the death penalty, which was abolished in 2006, with the use of hanging, which Pacquiao supports.