Considering he’s a politician, not too many people seem willing to take Manny Pacquiao at his word. The 37-year-old, who twice knocked down Tim Bradley on the way to winning a wide decision in last night’s rubber-match in Las Vegas, stated before the fight how it would be his last. And after picking up his unanimous decision victory, Pac-Man stated how he is now retired.
“I am retired,” he said after topping Bradley. “I have a commitment to my family that I’m going to retire after this.”
Pacquio says he now wants to “help the people” in his political capacity. But still millions of fans, and a number of fellow boxers and experts, do not believe we have really seen the last of Pacquiao in a boxing ring. Just go on the net today and you will find various stories asking if we will still see a rematch between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Junior, the man who dominated him in May of last year – this despite Mayweather having announced his own retirement from the sport last year and insisting how “that story is closed” when it comes to his rivalry with the Filipino southpaw.
Maybe, in light of the vast number of “retired” fighters who, no sooner had they “retired” came back for “one last fight,” it’s no wonder so many people have a tough time taking Pacquiao, and Mayweather at their word. How many times did Sugar Ray Leonard “retire,” only to come back? How about Larry Holmes, the original Sugar Ray, in Robinson? And the list goes on. Maybe, despite what both fighters have said, we will see Pacquiao and Mayweather in the ring again one day; maybe even in the same ring on the same night. It does seem as though there will be talk of a possible return by these two greats as long as both men are aged under 50!
But if Pacquiao has fought his last, we will undoubtedly miss him. A genuine phenomenon of a fighter, who won world titles in no less than eight weight divisions and lit up the sport in a major way in doing so, Pac-Man will go down as an all-time great, no question. Born into poverty and going on to become one of the richest, most celebrated prize fighters in history, the Manny Pacquiao story is the ultimate rags to riches tale.
Manny’s enormous popularity took a slight dip in recent weeks, due to his comments on same sex marriage, but we all know Pac-Man will leave a huge void once he is really gone from boxing. Maybe he has gone already.