Manny Pacquiao Should Consider Retiring Regardless of Result vs. Timothy Bradley

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIApril 9, 2014

Apr 2, 2014; Hollywood, CA, USA; Manny Pacquiao sets a boxing pose before starting his workout at Wild Card Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Manny Pacquiao's legendary career has already been cemented. He became one of the world's most popular and electrifying fighters due to his killer instinct in the ring and ability to dominate opponents.

In his prime back in 2008 and 2009, Pacquiao recorded a 5-0 record over a 21-month span, knocking out four opposing fighters.

Recently, things have changed.

Pacquiao has not recorded a single knockout since. Not only that, but he hasn't even really come close to winning a bout without it coming down to a decision.

His killer instinct may be gone.

Why is this? There are multiple guesses; however, none may be as telling as the one Pacquiao's longtime trainer Freddie Roach gave to Gareth A. Davies of The Telegraph:

Not right now. To be fair, he doesn't have too much on, because he is very focused on this fight. The thing is The Bible is getting in the way a little bit, but I showed him in The Bible there is violence, and there is payback.

I've had to work on that with him, because it does take his attention and can affect his mindset [for training].

If there are things getting in the way of Pacquiao's continued success, it may be better for the fighter to hang up his gloves for good—no matter the outcome of his rematch against Timothy Bradley.

After all, Pacquiao is one of the world's most storied fighters of all time. Losing concentration, losing fights and failing to display his past prowess only hurt his image. He risks being remembered for his recent fights just as much as his past success.

Even Bradley has noticed a change in Pacquiao. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports noted a comment from Bradley during a press conference for his upcoming fight with Pacquiao:

He's great, man, and I really, sincerely mean that. The guy is a great boxer. He has a lot of skills. But he's not destroying guys like he was at one point. He's just happy to go the 12 rounds and box and get his [win] and go home. He's not going out there trying to kill guys any more. He's lost that killer instinct.

Bradley's comments are certainly warranted.

There's no reason for Pacquiao to continue fighting under this perception. It's not about saving face. It's not about a faltering record. It's simply knowing the right time to hang it up.

Pacquiao has a chance to silence doubters and finish his career with a flourish if he can dispose of Bradley on April 12. If he loses, it's just one more reason to consider leaving the ring for good.

Despite the outcome, considering retirement should be well on the mind of this boxing legend.