Manny Pacquiao's Next Move

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It is a debate that is going to run and run and the question is: should Manny Pacquiao retire from boxing after his sensational knockout at the (right) hand of Juan Manuel Marquez last Saturday evening in Las Vegas?

The fighter is approaching the age of 34 and, given his position as a Congressman in his home country, he has plenty to keep him occupied. He has been a professional fighter since 1995. Perhaps it is time just to hang up those gloves that have made him revered around the world and adored in his homeland.

His mother Dionisia believes that the time has come.

“I have long asked you son, it is time to retire because you started boxing at such a young age. I always pray that he will stop. I asked God to tell my son to stop,” she said.

His wife Jinkee, who was understandably emotional at seeing her husband knocked out, is also open to the idea he could retire.

"No comment,” she said as she arrived back in Manila. "If our family will be asked, we don't want him to fight any more."

The signals coming from fighter’s camp, however, suggest that he is not prepared to step down just yet.

In fact, his trainer is talking of a September return.

“I got to talk with Manny and we had a great conversation on what’s going to happen next and right now how he feels and we haven’t completely decided but we have a good idea,” said Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer.

“We are going to talk to (Top Rank head) Bob (Arum). Me, Manny and (adviser) Michael (Koncz) and me and Bob will sit down for the next decision. In my opinion, I believe he should get some rest. Don’t rush it.”

Ricky Hatton, an English boxer who has just retired, feels that it is time to end.

"The only advice I could give Manny Pacquiao is that his legacy is already secured," said Hatton. "The thing is with us fighters is that there is always one more fight. What's he going to achieve by having one more fight? Probably nothing. He's an eight-weight world champion. There's nothing more to be said.”

Another factor is that after the knockout, the fight that everyone wanted to see, a first ever contest with Floyd Mayweather looks more distant than ever.

The two were at the top of their profession for years but were never able to agree a fight. Pacquiao accused the American of running away from the fight. A prison term for Mayweather also complicated things. With the “Pacman” just defeated, the fight becomes a little less important.

That didn’t stop Mayweather giving his opinion about Pacquiao’s fight and also getting a little dig in.

"In the sport of boxing, you have to really dedicate yourself to your craft," Mayweather said. "You have to really, really dedicate yourself to your craft. I think he's got so many different things on the outside that he worries about.

"But it was a good thing that he was able to come into the sport, you know, piggyback off my name, and get a bunch of endorsement deals and make a good living. That's a great thing.”

In the end, it will depend on the man himself and he said this week that there will be more fights.

Still, speculation is certain to continue until the next fight is confirmed, or he announces his retirement.

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