Could arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer we have ever seen be hanging up his gloves soon?
A report from Filipino newspaper Minda News said that current WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao might be retiring from boxing sooner rather than later to focus more on his faith and help his poor constituents in the Sarangani province, the area of the Philippines Pacquiao represents as a House of Representatives member.
Pacquiao said over the weekend that he is seriously leaning on retiring after his upcoming June 9 WBO welterweight title fight against Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas, Nev.
It's not right that I share God's word and at the same time hurt other people, he told reporters after gracing the oath-taking of newly-promoted personnel of the Army's 73rd Infantry Battalion in Maasim town in Sarangani. I've gained more than enough blessings these past years so I think it's time for me to return the favor.
Minda News also reports that Pacquiao, who had made headlines for extramarital affiars, gambling and drinking in the past, has recently sold a casino that he operates in a Manila hotel, shut down his J-Mix restaurant and bar and stopped cockfighting.
Mayor Reynaldo Constantino of Malungon, Sarangani, said Pacquiao has so far become a changed man as a result of a newfound passion for studying the Bible. It was after his controversial unanimous win over Juan Manuel Marquez last November that Pacquiao was initially reported to have started attending Bible studies through the help of a Protestant pastor.
Earlier this month, Pacquiao accepted an offer from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to become the Church of the Philippines's Bible ambassador.
In September, Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank reportedly said that Pacquiao planned to retire from boxing by the end of 2013 after running for governor of Sarangani. However, Pacquiao's mother Dionisia seemed to have pushed for retirement sooner by asking her son several times to quit from boxing in order to just focus on his businesses and budding political career.
On the other hand, Pacquiao said he would only retire once his esteemed trainer Freddie Roach sees him slowing down or his punch power declining.
A Pacquiao-Mayweather megabout won't be happening this year as many had hoped. And now, in what looks like a fast-approaching impending retirement, that fight may long be in limbo.