Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao ended speculation around his career in the ring by officially announcing his retirement on Tuesday via Facebook. In a message to his fans, he thanked them for their support and said this was a hard decision but he was at peace with it. It’s time for Pacquiao to focus solely on becoming President of the Philippines.
After Pacquiao’s last fight against Yordenis Ugas, it was clear the 42-year-old former 12-time world champion had reached the end. I just wondered if Manny was at the point where he was ready to admit this to himself. The Ugas fight was supposed to be against Errol Spence Jr. before an eye injury forced the latter out of the bout.
I’m not buying into this being Pacquiao’s last fight ever. After all, he is a boxer and once he runs for President, I think we may see him back in the ring within the next few years. It may even happen while he’s in office, should he be victorious. Should Pacquaio win, it certainly won’t be a victory for those marginalized communities in the Philippines. Manny’s conservative social and political viewpoint don’t lend themselves to helping people in these often-neglected groups, especially those in the LGBTQ community, whom he once called “worse than animals.”
In regards to Manny’s ring career I don’t see him accepting his last memory being a loss at the hands of a guy most people hadn’t heard of before that fight. Had the Spence Jr. fight gone on as planned, I think he could have swallowed that.
Besides losing to a lesser-known fighter, this is still boxing. I rarely believe most boxers when it comes to retirement since they are nearly as notorious as pro wrestlers concerning retiring and staying retired. That big payday eventually calls them all back. One boxer I believe could genuinely be finished in the ring is bay area product, Andre Ward. It’s been four years and counting since Ward’s last fight, and not much talk about a return.
For Pacquiao, I just think he’ll get that itch again sooner rather than later and want to get back in the ring at least one more time. I’m not saying it will be a good decision on his part, but I just don’t believe he’s done. Hopefully, his political career goes so well that Manny forgets any thoughts about boxing again.
We’ll see if 12 world titles, 62 victories, and being viewed by his supporters as the best pound-for-pound fighter of his era will be enough to satisfy Pacman. If it isn’t, we’ll be here awaiting the comeback, contemplating whether a mid-40s Pacquiao has bitten off more than he can chew once again.