When fans advise Pacquiao that retirement is an option

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Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, the pride of the Phlippines, deserves to retire on a high note, says a journalist who has long covered his career. (Reuters, file)

Highlights:

  • Fans state their reasons for having mixed feelings about the impending match between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse.
  • Boxing journalist suggests there’s a right timing for the champ to walk away from boxing.

Eight-division world boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, who at 39 is quite advanced in the sporting world, made an announcement yesterday that he’s set for another boxing match this year amid his senatorial responsibilities.

Pacquiao announced on his Twitter account that he had an upcoming fight with Argentine boxer Lucas Matthysse for another world title this July 15.

Unlike in Pacquiao’s former matches against fighters Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, not as many people on social media were excited about his decision to fight again.

The reasons Filipinos—who are more or less fans of Pacquiao’s career—gave ranged from the political to the practical:

  • “Nothing more important that needs your attention senator?”
  • “Why not retire? It’s not even a bad thing.”

Others are urging him to just have one last fight. In 2016, Pacquiao announced that his challenge to Timothy Bradley Jr. in April in Las Vegas would be his last professional bout. Two months after, he and his team announced he was going back to the ring.


This would also be the first time that award-winning boxing trainer Freddie Roach, who has been Pacquiao’s trainer ever since, would not be hanging at ringside. Instead, Pacquiao will be trained by his close friend and assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez.

After the Filipino boxing legend succumbed to Jeff Horn in Australia in July last year, Roach advised his longtime ward to retire.

Retirement: All about timing

Philstar.com’s sports editor Dino Maragay, who has covered Pacquiao for nearly a decade, said the champ deserves to quit his boxing career on a “high note” particularly after the controversial defeat.

“He deserves the chance to prove that his performance against Horn was a fluke and that he can still fight at the elite level. While a fight with Matthysse won’t affect his already-secure boxing legacy, it presents a chance for Pacquiao to win another world title and remain a key player in the welterweight division,” Maragay told Interaksyon.

A long-time fan of Pacquiao, Maragay said that Matthysse is a “solid match-up” against the Filipino fighter.

“Style-wise, this is a solid match-up as Matthysse loves to slug it out, a style tailor-made for Pacquiao,” he said.

He added that while a win will allow Pacquiao to retire “on a positive note,” a loss will simply validate that he’s no longer capable of fighting younger fighters such as American boxer Terence Crawford and Ukranian boxer Vasyl Lomachenko.

While retiring with a title is a great feat, Pacquiao’s fight against Matthysse should be his last, according to Maragay:

“While I can’t blame those who want Pacquiao to retire—and I say it’s the proper time to do so—he has earned the right to leave the sport in his terms.”