They say a happy wife is a happy life. That won't be the case if Manny Pacquiao wants to keep boxing.
According to an interview Jinkee Pacquiao, Manny's wife, did with Jon Saraceno of USA Today, it sounds a whole lot like she'd like to see him give up the sport altogether:
I know he is still (capable) of fighting, but for me there is nothing to prove. He already has eight (title) belts. He can retire—stop—at anytime. I want him to stop now. But he is the one who has the last say. Boxers risk their lives; (some) end up in wheelchairs. I don't want that to happen to Manny.
Jinkee's view seems starkly different from her husband's, who told fans in Manila that "we will rise again" and "there will be future fights," according to Fox Sports.
So what will Pac-Man do? Will he heed the advice of his wife and hang up his gloves or go with his heart's desire and step back into the ring, possibly against Marquez for a fifth time?
No one knows. However, one thing is certain: If Manny wants to fight, he should—no matter what anyone in his family says.
That's not to say Jinkee Pacquiao is wrong in her beliefs. When Juan Manuel Marquez cold-cocked Pacquiao in the sixth round of their bout on Dec. 8, there was an instinctive part of me that wondered whether he would ever get up again.
I can only imagine how Pacquiao's wife felt.
What's more, Pacquiao also has a very fruitful life outside of the ring. He's a dedicated member of the House of Representatives in his native Philippines, where he has served as a congressman since 2010. Pacquiao has also found spirituality in recent years, even telling a radio station back in March that God told him to retire. He even sings, having released albums in his native Tagalog language in recent years.
However, Jinkee is wrong about her husband having "nothing left to prove" inside the ring. Manny's loss to Marquez was his second consecutive defeat—the first time that has happened in his entire career.
In fact, one could argue that those other interests are the problem, not Pacquiao's boxing career. Particularly Pacquiao's political career has become a source of scorn, with some fans and members of his camp thinking the Filipino star has taken his eye off of boxing. In his five fights since taking political office, Pacquiao has not recorded a knockout victory, another career-worst streak.
But remember, Pac-Man wasn't eviscerated by Marquez. Far from it. He was in commanding control of the fight, got overly aggressive and was caught with one of the more fearsome punches I've ever seen.
This isn't Muhammad Ali hanging on to his career for dear life. This is a soon-to-be 34-year-old fighter who has taken his eye off the ball, but still has some prime years left in his career.
There's also the Floyd Mayweather conundrum. Until those two men get into the ring against one another, neither will have a complete career. Too much hype and too much back-and-forth has happened for all of that excitement to go unrequited.
If Pacquiao defeats Marquez then fights Mayweather, then he will have nothing left to prove in the ring. Until then, there are still some extremely unanswered questions.
Also, to put it bluntly, checks worth tens of millions of dollars don't just walk through the door for congressmen who dabble in recording artistry. According to ESPN's Dan Rafael, Pacquiao made $26 million for his fourth fight against Marquez, equal to his earnings from the Timothy Bradley fight earlier this year.
It may be superficial, but there are very few human beings alive that would turn down that kind of money.
For full disclosure, I'm not a married man, so I'm in no position to be doling out relationship advice. That's for Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz or whoever Oprah's newest pet project is at the moment.
However, Pacquiao needs to listen to himself, not others, when it comes to his next career move. If he wants to fight, there is still plenty to prove inside the ring and a boatload of money to be made.
If Manny fighting makes Jinkee unhappy, well, $26 million can sure buy a whole lot chocolates and flowers.