Sports

A Clearer Picture of Manny Pacquiao’s Retirement Plans Emerges

| by Alex Groberman

Over the last few weeks, one of the more annoying topics plaguing boxing news has been Manny Pacquiao’s purported desire to retire. Even though anyone and everyone who looked at the situation reasonably immediately realized that there was no way that the Filipino champion would call it quits at any point in the foreseeable future, his more gullible fans took the retirement talk to heart.

Thankfully, during a recent interview, Freddie Roach shelved all of the nonsense.

Remember, early in 2012 Pacquiao came out and said that his sudden, newfound religious beliefs were making him question whether or not he should continue fighting. He noted that inflicting damage -- as he tends to do in matches -- goes against God’s plan, and he insisted that he was seriously contemplating hanging up his gloves after his bout versus Timothy Bradley.

We and countless other news outlets immediately called BS on these claims. Why would the Filipino champ engage in even one more match if his religious beliefs were making him second-guess his athletic future like this? Wouldn’t he simply retire on the spot? A later interview between Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning guy Alex Ariza and Rope-A-Dope Radio only strengthened our position.

Now, in a brand new interview with the good folks at Boxing Scene, Roach came out and essentially acknowledged that “religion” wouldn’t be driving Pacquiao into early retirement. If anything were going to do that, it would be the champ losing some of his skills.

Via Boxing Scene:

Pacquiao recently came forward and revealed that he had a vision where God himself asked him to retire and he initially didn’t expect to be fighting as a professional past 2012.

Giving his take on such talk, Roach has a much more practical approach.

“The thing is, we’ve talked about that,” Roach said. “Manny’s asked me ‘When I start showing signs of slippage and I need to retire, will you tell me?’ and I said ‘I’ll be the first one to tell you Manny’ and I said ‘When I tell you, will you retire?’ and he said ‘Of course I will’. Because most guys won’t. We have a good relationship and I know he’s coming close to the end of his career.”

So there you have it. There are two important takeaways from what the lone honest person in Pacquiao’s camp said: 1.) Pacquiao won’t retire at any point in the foreseeable future and 2.) when he does decide to retire, it will be because his skills are worsening, not because of any nonsensical religious thing.

Glad we could get that sorted out.

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