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Injured Manny Pacquiao returns to the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Manny Pacquiao returned home to the Philippines on Wednesday nursing his right shoulder after surgery and weighing up whether to retire or push for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Pacquiao, wearing a black shoulder brace and arm sling, said his immediate priorities were recuperating from surgery and his duties as congressman and family man. He said he injured his shoulder during training for the May 2 fight which Mayweather won on a unanimous decision.

Pacquiao and his family arrived early Wednesday and rested briefly in his mansion in the Forbes Park residential enclave of Manila. He later joined fans, supporters and politicians for breakfast at a nearby hotel before a motorcade around the Philippine capital.

Thousands lined the streets as his motorcade passed, waving, applauding and taking pictures of the 36-year-old former champion.

Sidewalk vendor Mary Jean Borgonia held up a white shirt with the words “Long Live, Manny” in the Filipino language printed in red letters.

“Even if he lost, for us he is still a winner,” Borgonia said.

Pacquiao said when he recovers he’ll make an “announcement for continuing my career or announcement for retirement.”

The boxer is also going into the last year of his current term as congressman of southern Sarangani province. He did not indicate his plans for next year’s elections, which could include running for his last term as congressman, or provincial governor or senator.

“I know what you are thinking, that hopefully there would be a rematch. I like that. I want that,” Pacquiao told the hotel crowd. “But for the moment, I am thinking of focusing on this shoulder, on my work and my family.”

Pacquiao later visited President Benigno Aquino III, who congratulated him “for bringing honor to the country by fighting with courage and skill,” presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma said.

Coloma said Pacquiao gave Aquino two black jackets as souvenirs from the fight. Pacquiao also asked whether he and the president, who is a gun enthusiast, could again practice shooting at a firing range after he recovers from surgery in about six months, and the president nodded in approval, Coloma said.

Pacquiao lost the 12-round “Fight of the Century” and is facing several legal suits in the United States seeking damages over the non-disclosure of his shoulder injury before the bout.

The fight broke the pay-per-view record with 4.4 million buys that generated more than $400 million in revenue. With a live gate of nearly $72 million and other revenue, the bout grossed more than $600 million.

Mayweather was guaranteed 60 percent of the net revenue to the promotion and Pacquiao the remaining 40 percent.

In an interview with Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN, Pacquiao said he reviewed a video of the fight several times and believed he won, though narrowly, against Mayweather.

“I reviewed it repeatedly. I scored myself,” Pacquiao said. “I was ahead two points.”

He said, however, he respected the judges’ decision.

“Enjoy your victory, you deserve it,” he said in a message to Mayweather.

The Bible-quoting boxer said he was still a winner because “this is the first time that he (Mayweather) is thanking God before and after the fight.”

Asked to comment on the pay-per-view record, Pacquiao said he was “not after the money.”

“What I am looking for is how to give enjoyment or a good fight to the fans,” he said.

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