Manny Pacquiao gave his fans hope regarding returning to the ring but is likely heading for the retirement door before his 43-year-old birthday.
World Boxing News understands that a second fight with Yordenis Ugas is a distant hope despite interest on both sides.
Ugas is pushing for a fight with Errol Spence Jr. or Terence Crawford in 2022. At the same time, Pacquiao has admitted his reflexes aren’t there anymore.
In his latest statement, Pacquiao mentioned nothing of getting back to work for another contest inside the ropes after losing his latest world title clash.
“I have come to this point in my career by the grace of God. It is he who gave me the strength to fight,” said Pacquiao. “I can look back and honestly say that I gave my best.
“My family and you, the fans, have been with me all the way. I will not focus on the defeat but instead, count my blessings!”
Pacquiao got quoted as not giving Ugas the kudos he deserves in the media in the days following his loss. Talk of leg cramps and Ugas not being much of a challenge to him have not shed good light on the Senator.
But Ugas, to his credit, has not taken the bait. Instead, the Cuban is willing to give Pacquiao another shot despite earning his stripes last week.
“Manny Pacquiao is a legend. He is still a great boxer. A man of honor below and above and loved by all” pointed out Ugas. “If he wants revenge with pleasure, he would give it to him.
“I continue to respect and admire him for all that he has accomplished inside and outside of that ring.
“Many people write to me. They ask me about Pacquiao’s statements that I have been one of the most directly winnable rivals in his career.
“The only thing I can say is that he goes to his house in peace, and he recovers. Also that I respect him for being one of the best boxers in history.”
On criticism of how he was given the WBA title before eventually earning it against a legend, Ugas concluded: A year of champion listening to some fools and jealous people tell me “paper champion” and “email champion.”
“But the jealous ones will continue to hate on social networks, and I, with the favor of God, am walking to unify myself.”