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Pacman confirms: I’m out of boxing

Emmanuel Villaruel - The Philippine Star
Pacman confirms: Iâm out of boxing
Manny Pacquiao
STAR / File

CEBU City – Manny Pacquiao is done with boxing. The announcement came straight from the horse’s mouth.

Reaffirming the statements he made during a recent video interview with entertainment personality and vlogger Toni Gonzaga, Pacquiao said he is hanging up his gloves for good, putting an end to an illustrious career that spanned nearly three decades.

“Retire na (I’m retired),” was Pacquiao’s reply when The Freeman and Banat News sought clarification on the real status of his career following.

Pacquiao is in town for a three-day sortie. He formally took his oath as honorary chairman of PROMDI (Probinsya Muna Development Initiative) at Raddison Blu Hotel on Sunday night. PROMDI is a Cebu-based provincial political party founded by the late Cebu governor Lito Osmeña in 1997.

At the same event attended by a large throng of Pacquiao supporters from various stakeholder groups, the Filipino sports hero accepted the nomination as presidential candidate of PROMDI in the upcoming May 2022 elections.

Pacquiao first discussed his retirement in Gonzaga’s “Toni Talks” show posted in her YouTube Channel last Sept. 20, a day after Pacquiao accepted the PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan) nomination to be the party’s standard-bearer in next year’s polls.

When asked by Gonzaga on what will happen to his boxing career if he wins as president of the Philippines, Pacquiao answered: “Boxing career ko? Tapos na ’yung boxing career ko (My boxing career? It’s over).”

“Tapos na. Kasi matagal na din ako sa pagbo-boxing. ‘Yung pamilya ko laging sinasabi ‘tama na.’ Nagtuloy-tuloy lang ako kasi passionate ako sa sport na ito (It’s done. Because I’ve been in boxing for a long time. My family has always been convincing me to retire. I just continued because I’m very passionate about this sport).”

“Magsu-support na lang ako ng mga boxingero para magkaroon tayo ng champion ulit (I will just support Filipino boxers so we will have another champion),” he said.

After local and international media outlets picked up the news, Pacquiao’s right-hand man Sean Gibbons, the president of MP Promotions, insisted that Pacquiao hasn’t officially retired from the sport.

“In the coming weeks, the senator will decide how he’s going to finish his professional boxing career. After the fight and recently, he’s discussed retiring [or] maybe one more [fight]. He’s just talking out loud about different situations,” Gibbons told ESPN’s Mike Coppinger.

“Until you see it officially come out on his Twitter or Instagram, he isn’t retired. Once you see it on a platform like that, it’s official. Anything else is just talk about what his thoughts are in the moment. It’s coming from him, but it’s hearsay,” he added.

But during PROMDI’s political gathering two nights ago, Pacquiao confirmed that he has indeed called it a day.

“Dili nako mo-away. OK pa ako Iihok pero tama na. Dugay na pud ko sa boksing (I will no longer fight. I still have the moves but it’s enough. I’ve been in boxing for a long time already),” he said.

Calls for Pacquiao’s retirement immediately resonated across the boxing world after he suffered a stunning defeat by unanimous decision to Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas in their WBA superwelterweight championship bout last Aug. 21 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pacquiao, who will be turning 43 on Dec. 17, had hinted at retirement in the wake of his loss to Ugas. “In the future, you may not see Manny Pacquiao again to fight in the ring. I don’t know.”

For many of his millions of fans around the globe, Pacquiao’s legacy and place in history are already secured and that it’s high time for the legendary warrior to call it a day because he has nothing more to prove.

For all his boxing achievements, Pacquiao said he wants to do as well in the political arena, where he will focus all his energy and resources in the coming months in pursuit of the highest office in the land.

“God raised me from nothing to something for a purpose,” said Pacquiao, who rose from poverty to become one of the richest men in the Philippines. “Pangarap ko na mag-champion din ako ng eight divisions sa public service (I dream of becoming an eight-division champion in public service).” — Freeman

MANNY PACQUIAO
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