During his recent press conference, Manny Pacquiao presented a loud and clear ultimatum to his undefeated counterpart Floyd Mayweather Jr. – you have one year.
While appearing at a press event to publicize his upcoming November bout versus Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao stopped to address some of the more prevailing issues in boxing. Namely, what the odds were that he and Mayweather would actually get around to participating in a much-hyped super fight.
"I want to be an executive in 2013," Pacquiao replied, when asked about his future prospects. "It’s hard to be an executive and do boxing."
Currently, Pacquiao serves as a congressman for his native Philippines and, as a result, has plenty of free time to spare. If, however, the widely regarded best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport opts to pursue “executive office” in 2013, that will quickly change. Whereas congressman duties entail less pressing matters to be dealt with on a day-to-day basis, serving as an “executive” in the Philippines is akin to being a governor or mayor in America.
All of which pretty much explains why Pacquiao has been so reflective and open about his athletic tenure coming to a close some time very soon. In a series of interviews over the past few months, the Filipino icon has alluded to having a limited window to accomplish everything he wants to accomplish in his sport of choice. Along the same lines, he has also been very honest about how he views his place in the grand scheme of boxing lore, and how he doesn’t feel like he actually needs a match versus Mayweather to cement his legacy.
Currently, Pacquiao is preparing for a November 12 showdown against Juan Manuel Marquez – the third and final part to their once-epic rivalry. The first time the pair met they fought to a widely-disputed draw. The second time, Pacquiao won despite numerous boxing pundits scoring the fight in Marquez’s favor. This time, though, there is little doubt about who will emerge victorious, with Pacquiao consistently dominating his competition over the last two years while Marquez has been on a steady decline.
Not even recent developments like Pacquiao’s fatigue and the role it will have in this bout could boost the odds in Marquez’s favor, it appears.
At this point, everyone is already looking ahead to what the twilight tour of Pacquiao’s career will look like. He’ll put an exclamation mark on his rivalry with Marquez with a win in November but, then what?
Will it be Mayweather? Khan? A wild card that nobody sees coming?
Only time will tell.