x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Pacquiao may turn back on the ring

A decade of dominance could be at an end as his mother urges him to hang up his gloves while the Filipino legend focuses on politics.

Manny Pacquiao waves to his fans during a victory motorcade in Manila yesterday.
Manny Pacquiao waves to his fans during a victory motorcade in Manila yesterday.

Manny Pacquiao's unanimous points decision to retain his WBO welterweight championship belt against Joshua Clottey last week in Dallas, Texas, may prove to be the last time we see the Filipino boxer in the squared circle as he turns his attentions to an altogether different ring - the political one.

The "Pac Man" returned to a hero's reception in the Philippine capital, Manila, yesterday and was quick to hit the campaign trail as he set his sights on winning a seat in the House of Representatives in the national elections on May 10. Pacquiao shares the same vision as Manuel Villar, the opposition senator, in alleviating the country's poor from poverty. Should he be successful in winning a congressional seat, it is unlikely Pacquiao will be able to dedicate himself to months-at-a-time training camps in preparation for fights.

That, coupled with desperate pleas from his mother to retire and stop-start negotiations with Floyd Mayweather Jr, his bitter rival for the mythical pound-for-pound title, continually hitting brick walls, all appear to point to an end to the Filipino fight king's decade of dominance in the ring. "I might retire. My mother has been begging me to stop fighting, so we'll talk about this," he said. "After my fight with [Miguel] Cotto, I asked her to allow me to fight one last time and she agreed. Now, she's asking me again to retire. What will I tell her now?

"I have been in boxing for a long time and I have given so many honours to my country. "Even without the elections and the politics, my retirement will largely depend on my family's decision." Should Pacquiao's one-sided bout with Clottey at Cowboys Stadium prove to be the last time we see him in the ring, it will leave thousands of fans of the sweet science feeling they have missed out on the showdown of a generation.

A planned fight against Mayweather Jr for this year fell through in January as the two camps could not agree on the form of drug testing for the duel. Pacquiao, however, does not feel he has anything to prove by taking on the American having already made history by winning seven world titles at seven different weights. Mayweather will be in action on May 1 when he takes on Shane Mosley, the WBA welterweight champion - a fight he should win - but victory will only lead to more calls for the two to sit down and thrash out terms. @Email:sluckings@thenational.ae