Pacquiao vows to retire again after fight | Inquirer Sports
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Pacquiao vows to retire again after fight

12:23 AM January 06, 2016
Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao. REM ZAMORA/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—He first talked of retiring from boxing as far back as 2006. Now, he’s again talking of quitting the sport that made him wealthy and world famous.

Perhaps, he means it this time.

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Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao said he would end his legendary career after fighting American welterweight Timothy Bradley in April to concentrate on his political career, dousing hopes for a rematch with his American tormentor, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The winner of an unprecedented eight world titles, who has flirted with the idea of running for President, said he was confident of winning a Senate seat in the May elections.

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Pacquiao is facing Bradley for the third time on April 9, after losing to Mayweather, his biggest rival in the sport’s richest fight in May last year.

“I am retiring from boxing to concentrate on my political career. My fight with Timothy Bradley will be my last,” Pacquiao said in an interview in his mansion late Monday.

Pacquiao and Bradley have fought twice, the first time in June 2012 when Pacquiao lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight title by a highly controversial split decision over 12 rounds in Las Vegas.

The Filipino regained the crown in April 2014, pounding out a unanimous decision over Bradley, also in Las Vegas.

Raised in poverty

The 37-year-old member of the House of Representatives dismissed reports that he would not step away from the sport without a rematch with Mayweather, who himself retired after beating Pacquiao.

“I did not say anything like that. Nobody interviewed me about that. I will retire after my April 9 fight,” he said.

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Pacquiao lost by a unanimous decision to Mayweather, his brash archrival whom he fought with a torn rotator cuff that later required surgery.

Pacquiao has won 57 fights, including 38 knockouts, lost six and had two draws in a professional career spanning more than 20 years after being raised in poverty.

Pacquiao is ranked seventh in the race for 12 Senate seats. He currently represents the southern province of Sarangani in the House of Representatives.

Rags-to-riches story

The Senate is a traditional springboard for future presidential campaigns. Three of the last Filipino leaders, including the incumbent President Aquino, were senators before they were elected to the country’s highest office.

“My survey rankings have been consistent and I expect it to improve once the campaign starts,” Pacquiao 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 the movies, on television and in product endorsements.

A pastor in a born-again Christian group, he credits his renewed faith for transforming him to a devoted family man from a hard-partying womanizer.

In a recent television interview, Pacquiao said he “prayed to God for guidance” before deciding to concentrate on politics.

Opposed free condoms

Pacquiao, however, has been criticized for putting his boxing training before his duties in Congress. Last year, he attended just four of the 70 legislative sessions.

In one of the rare times he took the floor in the House of Representatives in 2011, he argued against a bill that would provide free condoms for the poor, citing his Christian beliefs. The bill was eventually signed into law. AFP

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TAGS: elections 2016, Manny Pacquiao, News, Sports
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