Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao ended speculation about his in-ring career by officially announcing his retirement on Tuesday via Facebook. In a message to his fans, he thanked them for their support and said it was a tough decision but he was at peace with it. It’s time for Pacquiao to focus solely on the presidency of the Philippines.
After Pacquiao’s last fight against Yordenis Ugas, it was clear that the 42-year-old, 12-time former world champion had reached the end. I just wondered if Manny was at the point where he was ready to admit it to himself. The Ugas’s fight was supposed to be against Errol Spence Jr. before an eye injury forces the eye out of the fight.
I don’t buy this being Pacquiao’s last fight. After all, he’s a boxer and once he runs for President I think we may see him in the ring again in the next few years. It can even happen while he is in office, if he is victorious. If Pacquaio wins, it certainly won’t be a victory for these marginalized communities in the Philippines. Manny’s conservative social and political perspective do not lend themselves to helping people from these often overlooked groups, especially those of the LGBTQ community, which he once called “worse than animals”.
As for Manny’s in-ring career, I can’t see him accepting that his last memory was a loss at the hands of a guy most people hadn’t heard of before this fight. If Spence Jr.’s fight had gone as planned, I think he could have swallowed it.
Besides losing to a lesser-known fighter, it’s still boxing. I rarely believe most boxers when it comes to retirement, as they are almost as well known as professional wrestlers when it comes to retiring and staying retired. This big salary ends up recalling them all. One boxer that I think could really be finished in the ring is the Bay Area product, Andre Ward. It was four years and over since Ward’s last fight, and there’s not much talk of a comeback.
For Pacquiao, I just think he’ll get that itch again ASAP 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 think he’s finished. Hopefully his political career goes so well that Manny forgets all thoughts about boxing again.
We’ll see if 12 world titles, 62 wins and being considered by his supporters as the best pound-for-pound fighter of his time will be enough to satisfy Pacman. If not, we’ll be there waiting for the return, wondering if a mid-40s Pacquiao bit more than he can chew once again.