FOLLOWING his unanimous 12-round points victory over California’s Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao reiterated his intention to retire from the sport of boxing, despite admitting that he still “loves to fight.”
Pacquiao dropped Bradley twice in a fascinating clash, which saw Manny take the spoils in what was the pair’s rubber match. Afterwards, Pacquiao said: “Every round I was looking for a knockout to finish the fight, but Bradley is a top boxer.
“My body is still OK. I feel fresh and 100 per cent, but I’ve already made a commitment to my family to spend more time with them, and to serve the people in the Philippines. That’s my priority and focus. My heart is 50-50 [on whether or not to retire], but I love my family, so right now I’ve made my decision [to retire]. Who knows, I might enjoy retired life, or I might want to come back. Whatever happens I’m so satisfied with what I’ve done in boxing. I’m more than happy.”
Pacquiao’s long-time trainer, Freddie Roach, believes Manny could continue fighting if he wishes – he highlighted super-lightweight star Terence Crawford as a potential opponent if Pacquiao was to continue in the sport – but would support him unconditionally in whatever choice he makes regarding his future.
The Hall of Fame coach said: “Tonight, Manny looked like he was going for the knockout, which was good to see. We’ve had 15 years together. If he retires, I’ll be happy for him and 100 per cent behind his decision. I told him to go out with a bang, and he did that.”
Despite coming out second best to “Pac Man”, Bradley was full of praise for his opponent after the clash: “Pacquiao was good, solid, fast and strong. He and his team had a good game plan. He was luring me in so he could counter me. He is a superstar – very smart. He’s the best fighter I’ve ever faced – explosive, with lots of power and speed. He was always in the right spots. He was smarter than I was. He was a step ahead of me.”
Regarding both Pacquiao’s and his own future, Bradley was unequivocal in each response. “Manny shouldn’t retire,” Timothy declared. “As for me, I’m not done. I’m still fighting. I got beat by a legend. This ain’t gonna stop me.”
Meanwhile, Bradley’s coach, Teddy Atlas, was downbeat with himself at the post-fight press conference, but was extremely proud of his fighter. “I came up short,” the trainer conceded. “I think Timothy Bradley is the best human being I’ve ever been around in training.”