Manny Pacquiao will go down in boxing lore as one of the greatest pound-for-pounders of all time. People can debate where exactly on the list he belongs, but his presence on it is indisputable at this point. Ever since Oscar De La Hoya’s retirement, really, he has been the face of a sport that desperately needed someone to market itself behind.
But all good things come to an end. On Saturday night, thanks to a well-timed and especially brutal knockout blow from Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao may have finally realized that he is in fact mortal. When fighters go on the sort of run that Pacquiao had been on since 2005, sometimes they forget that.
Now, with two losses on his record in less than a year (although one was totally illegitimate), Pacquiao is facing a very tough decision: is it time to retire?
According to his wife, Jinkee, the answer is yes.
“You know the answer to that. He knows what I am asking him,” she said during an interview with GMA yesterday (via LBS).
In the same interview, Pacquiao’s children acknowledged that they wanted their father to hang up his gloves as well. And, of course, earlier in the day, Pacquiao’s mother made headlines when she too said that it was probably time for her son to call it quits.
Pacquiao, however, remained defiant.
"I don't want to hurt my family and the people who support them," was all he would say about his future plans (via Telegraph).
"I am OK. I just got overconfident in this fight. That is part of the game - sometimes you win, sometimes you lose."
That being said, he did acknowledge that everyone’s words were weighing on him.
“The low morale, the sadness, I accept that. This is my job…. But the reaction of the Filipinos, the many who cried, especially my family, it really hurts me."
You can’t force someone to retire. You just can’t. Maybe they’ll submit to the request temporarily, but inevitably they will come running back. Pacquiao clearly wants to continue boxing, so regardless of what anyone tells him, he isn’t going anywhere.