Despite Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao getting up there in age, there hasn't been much talk regarding when he might retire. However, his trainer Freddie Roach is now claiming that a bad performance against Timothy Bradley could lead to the boxer's retirement.
According to ESPN.com, Roach said that if Pacquiao looks bad against Bradley on June 9, even in a winning effort, then he will tell the Filipino star to hang up the gloves and focus on his political career.
"Bradley's no killer, but he tries hard," Roach said, according to the Associated Press. "Manny should eat him up as he comes forward. I think Manny should look really good in this fight."
"If he looks bad, he retires. At least I'll tell him to. And he may be the first one who will listen to me."
Roach is certainly no stranger to stirring the pot in the media, as he has trained a lot of high-profile fighters over the years. Roach could feel as though Pacquiao should retire if he doesn't dominate Bradley, but more realistically, his comments are geared toward hyping the bout and motivating Pac-Man.
After Pacquiao's underwhelming performance against Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight, there is some concern that he may be losing his edge. It's possible that Roach fully realizes this and has decided to use it to his advantage. By publicly doubting his fighter's ability, he is giving Pac-Man even more reason to win convincingly and silence his critics.
If Pacquiao wins this fight in any fashion, I simply can't see him retiring.
Even if he beats Bradley in a controversial decision like he did against Marquez, it wouldn't make sense for him to step away. There will be plenty of big-money fights on the table regardless of what happens on June 9, and Pac-Man would be a fool to walk away from them.
With the vast majority of boxing fans still holding out hope for a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd "Money" Mayweather, it was obvious that Roach's comments would get a big reaction. If fans actually believe that this could be Pacquiao's final fight, then odds are that the pay-per-view buy rates are going to go up, and it's going to mean more money for Pacquiao, Roach and the like.
Pacquiao is still just 33 years old and remains one of the biggest draws in boxing, so I doubt retirement will be a true consideration until a couple of years in the future. Even if a fight between Pac-Man and Money May never happens, Pacquiao will have his pick of enticing bouts moving forward.
While Bradley is undefeated, the general thought is that Pacquiao is in a different league than the younger fighter. If Pacquiao loses to Bradley or is less than impressive, then there will certainly be some whispers, but anyone who believes that Saturday will be Pac-Man's last fight is kidding themselves.
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