Boxing Conflicts With His Newfound Religious Beliefs, So Manny Pacquiao Is Reportedly Considering Retirement

Before Manny Pacquiao defeated Juan Manuel Marquez in November, his hobbies included womanizing, drinking, and gambling. He even owned roosters he used for fighting. But sometime after the Marquez bout, according to the Filipino newspaper Minda News, Pacquiao began attending Bible study classes—and with gusto.

Reynaldo Constantino, the mayor of a Filipino town and "a close ally of Pacquiao," has since described him as a "changed man." Pacquiao, 33, reportedly shut down a restaurant and bar he owned, and he even gave up on cockfighting. And now, it appears, his devotion to his craft of beating other men into submission with his fists may be coming to an end, too. This is from the Minda News:

"Hindi maganda na nagse-share ako ng salita ng Panginoon tapos nananakit ako ng kapwa (It's not right that I share God's word and at the same time hurt other people)," he told reporters after gracing the oath-taking of newly-promoted personnel of the Army's 73rd Infantry Battalion in Maasim town in Sarangani.

The neophyte Sarangani lawmaker, who already made a good fortune from his boxing exploits since his ring debut 16 years ago, said he wants to concentrate more on sharing his faith and at the same time on helping his poor constituents.

"I've gained more than enough blessings these past years so I think it's time for me to return the favor," he said in Filipino.

Pacquiao is scheduled to make a defense of his welterweight title by fighting Timothy Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas. God only knows whether he'll opt out in the meantime.