LAS VEGAS - Manny Pacquiao refuses to be counted out.
Pacquiao told Filipino scribes on Sunday afternoon that he is not hanging up his gloves and is raring to get back into the ring as early as April, 2013, a date that he had approved before suffering a sixth round knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand.
Looking sullen at times but still managing to sport a smile, Pacquiao, his face a bit puffy from the pounding that he took, admitted to have committed a mistake as he rushed in for the kill in the dying seconds of the sixth stanza.
"I faked twice but the second fake I left myself wide open and that's when I took the shot," said Pacquiao, who suffered his third knockout loss in a stellar career that kicked off in 1995.
Pacquiao said he was on the verge of stopping Marquez after flooring him in the fifth round with a sneaky left and battering the Mexican later that bloodied his nose.
"I believe that I would have gotten him out in one or two rounds," said Pacquiao, who had actually hit the deck in the third canto after absorbing a hellacious overhand right to the cheek, sending him on his butt.
Still, Pacquiao gave full credit to Marquez's masterful performance, saying a loss is a part of competition.
"If you don't want to lose, then stop competing," said Pacquiao.
Pacquiao was criticized for his gung-ho style in this fourth fight with the 39-year-old Marquez and the 33-year-old Filipino icon stressed that he did it to give the fans what they want.
"I was concerned about giving the boxing fans a great fight because I had been telling these in my interviews," said Pacquiao, who celebrates his birthday next week in his hometown of General Santos City.
In the event a rematch gets done for next year, Pacquiao said he will prove that Marquez just got lucky.
"I already had him," said Pacquiao, who is now 2-1-1 (win-loss-draw) against Marquez.
By the time Marquez exploded with a counter right hand that sent Pacquiao to dreamland, he was already breathing heavily from his mouth as blood had already filled his nostrils, a result of the heavy pounding that he took.
Marquez is non-committal about who to fight next, saying he will first savor the victory with his friends and family before talking about boxing.
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said he will give Pacquiao and Marquez the rest of the year to rest before discussing what's down the road for them.