Manny Pacquiao is calling it quits after his rubber match with Tim Bradley on April 9 so he can fully devote his time to life in public service.
“My April 9 fight against Timothy Bradley will be my last. I’m retiring from boxing to focus on my new job,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao is running for a seat in the Senate in the May, 2016, elections and is among the sure winners according to various surveys, consistently ranking seventh or eighth overall.
“My survey rankings have been consistent and I expect it to improve once the campaign starts,” he said.
The former fish vendor is adored by the Filipino masses who are inspired by his rags-to-riches life story.
Aside from politics, Pacquiao has parlayed his ring legend status to a career in movies, television, and product endorsements.
He is also a pastor in a born-again Christian group and credits his renewed faith for transforming him to a devoted family man from a hard-partying womanizer.
Pacquiao, who turned 37 last month, is attempting to win Bradley’s World Boxing Organization welterweight crown in a scheduled 12-rounder at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Win or lose, Pacquiao says the third meeting with Bradley – his 66th professional fight since turning professional more than 20 years ago – will be his swan song.
The Bradley bout will be Pacquiao’s first in almost a year.
In May last year, Pacquiao faced Mayweather in a megabucks match that broke all existing records.
Even though a second meeting isn’t expected to match the 4.4 million PPV buys and $70-M ticket sales generated in their ballyhooed brawl, a return fight remains a hot sell as Pacquiao later revealed that he fought with an injured right shoulder.
Pacquiao even underwent surgery to repair his right rotator cuff four days after the fight to prove that he wasn’t making an excuse.
Bradley, meanwhile, is fresh from active duty.
Last November, Bradley, 32, easily knocked out Brandon Rios in the ninth round, something Pacquiao failed to accomplish when he fought the same fellow in 2013 in Macau.
Regarded as an all-time great, Pacquiao won a record-setting eight world crowns in as many weight classes, capturing titles at flyweight (112 lbs), super-bantam (122), featherweight (126), super-featherweight (130), lightweight (135), super-lightweight (140), welterweight (147), super-welterweight (154) and middleweight (160).
Pacquiao was voted likewise the Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America three times (2006, 2008 and 2009) and Fighter of the Decade as well.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks