Manny Pacquiao is fighting the wrong fight. He's fighting against the wishes of his family, and according to him—he's fighting against the advice of the God he serves.
After the vicious and scary knockout loss he suffered at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao has already announced that he will fight again in April, per Boxing News 24.
This can't be pleasing to the women in Pacquiao's life. According to a revealing interview from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Pacquiao's wife, Jinkee, and mother, Dionisia, are urging him to hang up the gloves. The article quotes Jinkee as follows: "When you see your husband get hurt, you cannot even sleep."
When asked if she wanted him to retire, she said: “You know the answer to that. He knows what I am asking him.”
Pacquiao's mom has even asked her son to retire on a few occasions. Most recently on the Agence-France Presse network, via Sports Illustrated. She pleaded: “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.”
If all of that wasn't enough, in March, Pacquiao himself told the DZMM radio station in the Philippines that God told him to retire. In the interview (via the Philippine Daily Inquirer), he states: "I will not stay long in boxing because, he [God] said: ‘You have done enough. You have made yourself famous but this is harmful."
No matter what your belief system is, there is no doubt that Pacquiao faces an enormous amount of pressure to walk away from the sport. Yet, he also feels a pull to continue fighting.
It is true, the people of the Philippines are as connected to Pacquiao as any nation is connected to its favorite son. Taking a look at the headlines from the Philippine Daily Inquirer the morning after his defeat is proof of that.
Don't believe for a second that Pacquiao wants to continue his career solely for the morale of the millions of Filipinos that love him. Like any willing entertainer, he enjoys the adulation, attention and the money.
No one should blame him for that.
Should Manny Pacquiao retire?
However, at this point in his life and career, he must properly prioritize, and he must consider the feelings and wishes of his family. At his age, with all the wear and tear from the wars he's fought, he may never again be the same Pac-Man that made us all consider him one of the all-time greats.
This is just a natural progression for a man that has been fighting since he was a 14-year-old boy.
One can't underestimate the mental affects a savage KO loss has on a fighter as well. Many fighters are never the same after they suffer such a humbling in-ring defeat.
According to Forbes.com, Pacquiao is the second-highest-paid athlete in the world, and the 33rd-highest-paid celebrity with $62 million earned as of June.
It seems safe to say: Money isn't an issue.
Pride is Pacquiao's biggest opponent. That is proving to be more formidable than Marquez could ever be.
It is time for Pacquiao stop fighting in the ring and out.
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