Former pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao has announced that he will step away from boxing next year as the Filipino prepare to run for Senator.
The welterweight star, who turns 37 in December, is set to make his comeback in the spring of 2016 following a defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr last May and could fight just one more time before swapping his gloves for politics.
“I think I’m ready. I’ve been in boxing for more than 20 years. I prayed to God for guidance and I am happy about it,” Pacquiao told ABS-CBN.
“I will have to give up the other things that require my attention. If you are a senator, your focus should only be your job and your family.”
Pacquiao has been linked to fights against Amir Khan, Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol recently as the ‘Pacman’ eyes a likely return from injury in March or April. Ex-training partner Khan is currently considered the frontrunner for a Las Vegas showdown on pay-per-view, a fight that could have Floyd Mayweather’s WBC title on the line once the ‘Money’ man officially vacates the belt.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman told WBN earlier this year that he would have no hesitation sanctioning Pacquiao v Khan for the green belt if the pair indeed agree a fight – a potential deal-clincher for the bout.
A move down to 140lbs to challenge either WBO super lightweight title holder Crawford or Postol, who holds the WBC version following his knockout of Lucas Matthysse, are the alternatives as Pacquiao aims to leave the sport on a high holding a world championship.
Regarding a lucrative return with Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao was a little more cagey as rumours continue that Floyd will offer his arch-rival a second chance as he pushes to break Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record.
“We cannot say if there is a rematch or not. It depends, it depends,” he added.