LAS VEGAS – As the months become weeks and the weeks turn into days and now the days into mere hours and minutes, it is likely beginning to dawn on Manny Pacquiao that he may have probably spoken too soon about retirement.
Speaking to a group of scribes Tuesday afternoon, Pacquiao kept on giving the same answer to the nagging question of retirement following this Saturday night’s third meeting with Tim Bradley at the MGM Grand.
“It’s hard to say right now if I will fight again,” said Pacquiao, who three months ago declared that this weekend’s show would be his farewell fight so he devote more of his time not only to his family but to public service.
Pacquiao is running for a seat in the Senate during the Philippine elections next month and the 37-year-old fighting congressman is well within the top 12 in most surveys.
If he wins, Pacquiao will have to focus on his new job and it would require most of his time, leaving him with no choice but to abandon plans of returning to the ring again.
But the past few weeks and as he arrived here from Los Angeles, Pacquiao is starting to realize that his announcement last January could be pretty premature.
Pacquiao, a pro since 1995, told a mix of US and Filipino mediamen that the final answer will only be determined once he begins living life outside boxing.
“I haven’t been there (being retired). I don’t know the feeling when you get there. When your passion is boxing, you have to experience it first before you can comment (on retirement).”
But it appears that Pacquiao is also serious about calling it quits as he has done a few things that point to the Bradley bout as his final match.
Prior to leaving Los Angeles for Sin City on Monday afternoon, Pacquiao summoned key members of his training team to join him in the ring for prayer, something the Filipino great had never done before in 15 years of camping out at the Wild Card Boxing Club.
Besides, Pacquiao reveals that his family has been begging him for years to turn his back on boxing so he could spend more time with his wife and five children and mother Dionisia.
“It is actually my mother who keeps on telling me to retire,” said Pacquiao.
“But my wife and kids are also telling me the same thing.”
Trainer Freddie Roach is one guy who feels Pacquiao still has “a couple of good fights left” before he finally decides to close the chapter to a legendary career.
“We have an agreement that I will him to retire once I see that he needs to retire,” said Roach, who took Pacquiao under his wing in June 2001.
“But there’s no slowdown in him but if he decides to retire, I will be behind him.”
In that case, the next time fight fans get to see them together would be when Roach travels to the Philippines and attends Pacquiao’s birthday bashes.