Manny Pacquiao vows retirement after Bradley

‘After this I am going to hang up my gloves.’ Photos by Boyet Loverita

‘After this I am going to hang up my gloves.’ Photos by Boyet Loverita

By Lindy Rosales

The multi-titled Manny Pacquiao announced his retirement from boxing on January 21 at the same time that he was promoting his upcoming fight with welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.

The April 9 match will be held at the MGM Arena in Las Vegas.

“It’s been a great ride with Manny,” said trainer Freddie Roach during a press conference at Madison Square Garden. “I’m a little bit sad, that this is going to be his last fight, but we had a great 15 years together. I don’t think most marriages last that long.”

Bradley said Pacquiao sure knew how to “pick a challenge” for his last fight.

“For choosing me, that goes to show you what kind of a fighter he is, what type of man he is,” he told journalists. “He could have picked anybody else. Pacquiao always picks a challenge.”

In making his announcement, Pacquiao said, “After this I am going to retire and hang up my gloves and focus on my another big responsibility in life: To help the people.”

He said he became a boxer because his family was impoverished and he wanted to help his mother provide for the family. His, mother Dionesia, became the breadwinner after she and her husband separated.

“Before that I didn’t know boxing. And now, I end my boxing career in helping the Filipino people. So it’s good, and I’m so blessed by God. My career will end in a good way,” he said. “I’m so thankful and blessed by God for everything that he has given me. Never dreamed beyond my imagination what I have accomplished in boxing. He raised me from nothing for this purpose.”

Pacquiao’s wife, Sarangani Province Vice Governor Jinkee Pacquiao, who was at the press conference expressed her elation.

“Happy po ako, kasi yon naman talaga ang gusto ng familya. Finally, nakapag-decide na siya na mag-retire na,” she told reporters.

When asked if she thinks Manny will change his mind, Jinkee said, “Hindi ko alam, kasi, parang iniisip kasi niya na mag-focus sa responsibilidad niya. Ngayon, he’s running for the Senate, so kailangan mag-focus muna, kung gusto niyang maging isang public servant ulit.”

Filipino Americans shared their own reading of Pacquiao’s much-touted retirement after April.

Said nursing student Alex Soria: “I’m not surprised that he is retiring. All boxers retire at some point when they get older. I think if (Floyd) Mayweather challenges him, then maybe there’s a chance that he will come back.” A fan, he called Pacquiao the “eighth wonder of the world” for winning eight division championships.

Jay Pag-ong, an engineer, said he sees Pacquiao returning to the ring “if there’s another match with big money.” While he is not a fan, he said he is proud of Pacquiao for bringing pride and glory to Filipinos around the world every time he wins a fight.

Rey Patron, a long-time NYC resident, said it may be time for Pacquiao to retire as he is “past his prime.” But it’s been known that some people who have vowed to retire do come back.

Spotted in the crowd was Dodi Boy Penalosa, Sr., a former professional boxer who won light flyweight and flyweight titles in his time.

He is saddened by Pacquiao’s announcement. “Parang sad to hear that one. Sana meron pang isa or two fights pa, kung puede lang. Pero kung wala, siyempre maghanap tayo ng mga bago na naman. Maghanap tayo ngayon ng new generation (boxers).”

With Dodie Boy Sr. was his son, Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr., who is also a professional boxer.

Pacquiao, Bradley at Madison Square Garden press conference: ‘He loves a challenge.’

Pacquiao, Bradley at Madison Square Garden press conference: ‘He loves a challenge.’

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