There is a changing of the guard going down in boxing. Floyd Mayweather announced his retirement after his fight with Andre Berto underperformed terribly, and now it sounds like Manny Pacquiao is about to hang up his gloves too. ESPN talked with his promoter Bob Arum, who revealed the Filipino fighter wants to concentrate on politics in his home country.
“I’m telling you what he told me last week at dinner in New York,” Arum said. “We talked very seriously, and he said, ‘Bob, hopefully, by the middle of May I will have been elected senator in the Philippines, and at that point I cannot engage in boxing because I need to focus on the senate and I have to be in attendance.’
“Manny told me this fight on April 9 will be his last fight.”
“Manny told me this would be his last fight, and I’m not sad about it, because he’s going on to a political career which will require a lot of mental acuity, so you don’t want him to stay in boxing too long,” Arum said. “If he stays in boxing a little too long, his mental faculties might be somewhat impaired.”
Pacquiao is currently a provincial congressman but is looking to move up the political ladder to national senator in the next elections. Arum calls the new position a “real job” with “real work” as opposed to the congress position which was just “a lot of bulls**t speeches.”
As for his final fight in April, there’s a number of opponents currently on Arum’s radar: Terence Crawford, Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley. Bradley won a controversial judge’s decision over Pacquiao back in 2012, putting the fighters at 1-1 against each other. A rubber match to settle things definitively seems logical, if not overly exciting. Pacquiao beat Bradley handily regardless of what the dopey Vegas judges said in their second fight, and a third would probably go the same way.
That just underscores another reason it’s probably the right time for Pac-Man to retire: there’s just not a lot of exciting match-ups left out there for him. With the Mayweather fight done, all Manny has left to do is finish his career on a win, and then he can enjoy his retirement – or rather his career switch to “real” politician.