MANILA -– Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday (US time) said he will be happy to quit the sports that brought him to stardom after his April 9 third fight with American Timothy Bradley.
“I’m so happy hanging up my gloves after this fight. I’m sure I’ll feel sad after that, but that’s life. It’s time, I think,” Pacquiao said, as quoted by Associated Press, during the Pacquiao-Bradley fight promotion tour in California.
Pacquiao said since his last opponent, undefeated Floyd Mayweather, has retired already, there is no reason for him to look beyond his upcoming Bradley fight.
”(Mayweather) retired already, so I’m going to retire also after this fight,” he said.
The 37-year-old Filipino boxing superstar said after his April 9 fight, “I have another big responsibility in the Philippines which is serving the people.”
Pacquiao, an incumbent congressman of the lone district of Saranggani province, is running for senator and currently in fifth place of the Magic 12 based on the pre-election surveys.
Despite Pacquiao’s looming retirement, his American promoter Bob Arum is still hoping that the Filipino world champion would change his mind if his fighter will box well against Bradley.
“I will not promote it as Manny’s last fight. He says he’s going to retire, and maybe he will. The truth is that you never know with any boxer, but I haven’t known Manny to say things he doesn’t mean. But we all realize this could be the last time he fights,” Arum said.
Bradley defeated Pacquiao in their first fight on June 9, 2012 that was marred by controversial decision but the Filipino fighter bounced back with unanimous decision victory in their rematch on April 12, 2014.
Pacquiao said Bradley is a different fighter now, having won all his last three fights including the last which he won via technical knockout against Brandon Rios of Argentina last November 7.
”He (Bradley) is a different fighter now and that’s why we accepted him as my last opponent,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao holds ring record of 57-6-2 highlighted with 39 knockouts while the WBO welterweight champion Bradley is hoping not to absorb his only second defeat in 35 fights against Pacquiao again. Jelly F. Musico/PNA/northboundasia.com