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Pacquiao dispels doubts about his plan to retire


PhilBoxing.com




GENERAL SANTOS CITY - 'I don't care what others think."

This is Manny Pacquiao's message to all the doubting Thomases about his plan to retire.

In an exclusive interview moments after scoring 40 points in a commercial basketball tournament he organized at his mansion here last Friday night, Pacquiao stands pat on his decision to hang up his gloves for good after his third bout with Tim Bradley set for April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

But two of the closest people who help chart his career path both take his statement with a grain of salt.

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, said he won't market Pacquiao-Bradley III as the last fight of his prized ward because he believes that the Pinoy sports hero will still continue fighting.

"He says he's going to retire, and maybe he will. The truth is you never know with any boxer," Arum had earlier said.

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach also is not exactly sold to the idea that the Bradley trilogy will be Pacquiao's farewell performance inside the arena.

?I don?t think this will be his last fight. I think he will fight in the future because I just don?t feel he?s all done. He?s always telling me before when I?m all done will you tell me," Roach said.

But Pacquiao dispelled any doubts on his retirement plans.

"Bahala sila kon unsay gusto nilang huna-hunaon basta ako mo-retire na human sa akong away ni Bradley (I don't care what others think but as for me, I will retire after the Bradley fight)," said the eight-division world champion.

Pacquiao said he will drop off the curtains of his decorated career so he can focus more on politics.

The lone representative of Sarangani Province is running for senator in the forthcoming May elections and recent surveys show he is one of the leading contenders among the senatorial candidates.

Pacquiao, however, doesn't discount the possibility of a comeback once he decides to retire.

"Kung retire naka, puyde man mo-comeback, di ba? (If you're retired already, you can still make a comeback right?)," said Pacquiao.

A source close to Pacquiao who requested not to be named also strongly feels that Pacquiao will continue fighting after he settles his business with Bradley.

"Pacquiao will still fight after his bout with Bradley, that is my belief," said the source. "But I think the best way to lure him out of retirement is a rematch with Floyd Mayweather."

Photo: Pacquiao talks to reporters in New York during his press tour for the third Bradley fight.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel B. Villaruel.


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