Manny Pacquiao has been criticized often at various points throughout his lengthy boxing career. More often than not the criticism has stemmed from his reluctance to participate in a particular sort of performance enhancing drug (PED) testing, his fighting style or just a general jealousy regarding the things he has been able to accomplish.
After his recent loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, though, the Filipino star faced something very different: calls for retirement.
In three prior bouts against Marquez, never once did Pacquiao get dropped the way he got dropped in the sixth round of last December’s showdown. There were moments -- heck, there were giant chunks of time -- when Marquez looked like the better fighter in those fights, but at no point did he land a single dominating blow like the one that put Pacquiao down for the count in the sixth round of their last match.
Understandably, some folks couldn’t help but wonder if maybe Pacquiao was further passed his prime than anyone realized. In years past, he never would have walked into a counter that carelessly. Be it because of a loss of speed or a loss of instinct, clearly something had changed. And because a lot of fans couldn’t stand to see another respected boxer begin his rapid decline, they started calling for his retirement.
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Pacquiao responded to those calls by making it clear that he had no intentions of hanging up his gloves.
During a recent interview, the Filipino star explained why he wasn’t ready to call it quits just yet.
“I am just 34 (years old),” Pacquiao told Lee Jimenez of InterAKTV just before heading back to General Santos City.
While the former champ still feels like he is too young to retire, he does have a rough idea in mind of when he wants to do the deed. In that same interview, he told Jimenez that he would fight at minimum once more and at maximum three more times.
Translation: this September’s Marquez fight is going to be make it or break it time. If he falls again, Pacquiao will not prolong the inevitable any further.