Pacquiao done with boxing? Not yet, says right-hand man

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com
Pacquiao done with boxing? Not yet, says right-hand man
This file photo taken on January 24, 2019 shows Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao during a press conference shortly after arriving at the international airport in Manila, days after defeating US boxer Adrien Broner in Las Vegas. Philippine boxer-turned-politician Manny Pacquiao declared on September 19, 2021 he will run for president in 2022, ending months of speculation about whether the legendary fighter would seek the country's top job.
Ted Aljibe / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao’s top associate insisted that the Filipino icon is not yet finished with his boxing career despite mentioning about it in an interview that had been making the rounds on the internet.

Sean Gibbons, president of Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, told ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger that Pacquiao will make a formal announcement on his boxing career “in the coming weeks”.

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

Local and international media outlets picked up part of Pacquiao’s interview with TV host and actress Toni Gonzaga that had been posted in the latter’s “Toni Gonzaga Studio” YouTube channel, wherein the incumbent senator — now a presidential aspirant — had been asked what will happen to his boxing career if he gets elected as president.

“Kung sakaling manalo po kayo bilang presidente ng Pilipinas, paano po yung boxing career niyo? Magbo-boxing pa rin po ba kayo? (If you win as president of the Philippines, what will happen to your boxing career. Will you still box?),” Gonzaga asked Pacquiao.

To which Pacquiao replied: “Boxing career ko? Tapos na 'yung boxing career ko. (My boxing career? It’s over).”

“Tapos na. Kasi matagal na din ako sa pagboboxing. '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),” Pacquiao added.

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

It was not clear, however, whether Pacquiao understood the condition included in Gonzaga’s question and whether he meant that he was done with boxing for good or only if he wins next year's presidential elections.

Gonzaga failed to follow up on the question and better clarify it, especially given the fact that there have been reports that Pacquiao plans to fight once more following his loss to Yordenis Ugas last month.

Pacquiao absorbed a unanimous decision loss to Ugas in at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas last August 21 (August 22, Manila), a bout that saw him succumbing to cramps and failing to throw significant punches in angles like he used to — an indication that Father Time has finally caught up with the 42-year-old boxing legend. 

But David Sisson, Pacquiao’s personal aide, earlier told Philstar.com that his boss is looking at fighting one more time either in December or January next year.

Pacquiao recently announced he is running for president as standard-bearer of his faction of the ruling PDP-Laban party, whose other faction is fielding Sen. Bong Go as president and incumbent chief executive Rodrigo Duterte as vice president. Go, however, has declined his faction’s nomination.

Gibbons, for his part, said that if and when Pacquiao announces his retirement, it will be made official through the eight-division world champion’s social media channels.

"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," Gibbons told Coppinger.

Philstar.com contacted Gibbons for an official statement but has not received a reply as of posting time.

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