For the first time in his storied career, Manny Pacquiao is talking about retirement. On Saturday, boxing’s first and only eight-division world champion lost via unanimous decision against late replacement opponent Yordenis Ugas.
During the post-fight press conference, the 42-year-old “Pacman” broached the idea of possibly calling it a career after 26 years of professional competition.
In the future, you might not see Manny Pacquiao again fight in the ring. I don’t know. But for how many decades, I’m happy with what I’ve done in boxing. I contributed a record and brought boxing to the top, and especially, brought honor to my country, the Filipino people.
Whether there’s a purse or not, in my heart, I want to fight. I want to continue fighting. But the thing is, I also have to consider my body. I have to consider my work (as a politician) back in my country.
There are a lot of things I need to accomplish and to help people. And I want to be an inspiration to all the people.
Pacquiao was seemingly unable to inflict significant damage on Ugas, who efficiently utilized his jab to mount his offense. But according to the Filipino boxing icon, his legs were giving him trouble.
I’m not saying this is my excuse, but both of my legs were cramping. That’s why I could not move around. In the early days (of my career), I could easily move and outbox him. But this time around, it was like my two legs were tight and hurting me in the second round until the 12th round.
My mind and my heart were 100%, but my legs were cramping.
That’s boxing. I’ve done a lot in boxing and I’m happy that we’re (both) safe.
Pacquiao later said his cramps were likely because he overworked himself, while also acknowledging that age could be a factor.
Too much hard work, training. I ran in the mountains and did 32 rounds (in the gym) every day. I don’t know. But we’re not young anymore.
If this is indeed Pacquiao’s final ring appearance, he would end his career with a record of 62-8-2. 39 of those wins ended by knockout.