Filipino boxing legend and senator Manny Pacquiao may have hung up his fabled gloves shortly after throwing his political hat into the presidential ring.
After sidestepping questions regarding his impending retirement following a recent loss, Pacquiao put a close to his storied boxing career in a bold statement made in response to television personality and host Toni Gonzaga.
“Boxing career ko? Tapos na ‘yong boxing career ko (My boxing career? My boxing career is over),” the 42-year-old Pacquiao told Gonzaga.
“Tapos na kasi matagal na rin ako sa pagbo-boxing at ‘yong pamilya ko laging nagsasabi na tama na. Nagtuloy-tuloy lang ako kasi passionate ako sa sports na ito (My boxing career has been over for a little while now and my family keeps on saying that I should stop. The only reason I continue is because of my passion for the sport).”
Pacquiao had earlier said that he will make an official announcement next month once he had decided to run for president in the 2022 elections.
The fighting senator formally accepted his nomination by the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) led by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Something else must have move the timeline though.
After his unanimous decision defeat to super WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas on August 21, different scenarios floated whether Pacquiao was going for a rematch or will draw the curtain on a legendary career.
In an interview with ESPN, Pacquiao, the eight-division world boxing champion said he was mulling retirement following his loss to the former Olympic bronze medalist from Cuba.
Several reports stated, at the same time, that a possible rematch or a future fight still awaits Pacquiao early next year.
But a recent resolution made by the World Boxing Association put the anticipated rematch out of reach after a two-stage box-off was ordered to pick a single WBA welterweight champion, with Ugas facing Eimantas Stanionis and regular champion Jamal James taking on Radzhab Butaev, with the winners facing off for the crown.
This development could have played a big part in Pacquiao’s apparent decision to retire.
While Pacquiao remains committed to his political duties at this time, the Filipino boxing icon said he is also looking to provide support for other boxers instead of climbing the ring to fight one last time.
“Magsu-support na lang ako ng mga boksingero para magkaroon tayo ng champion ulit (I will support other obxers instead so we can have a world champion once more),” said Pacquiao.