Tuesday, March 20, 2012

'3 Fights More,' Says Pacquiao

source: Nick Giongco | The Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — Cheer up, boxing fans. Manny Pacquiao is not hanging up his gloves anytime soon.

“Three fights pa,” Pacquiao told the Manila Bulletin Tuesday from Cebu where he will be taping two episodes of his weekly game show on GMA-7 in the coming days.

Pacquiao said he has to tape his shows in advance because he will soon start the first phase of his training in Baguio City for the June 9 showdown with Tim Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao said in a radio interview on Monday that he has spoken with God, who has told him to retire, as he has accumulated enough fortune and achieved fame no other Filipino athlete has.

While Pacquiao always mentions the word retirement in his recent speeches – majority of them laced with Biblical verses – the 33-year-old congressman from Saranggani made it clear it won’t be this year.

Should he get past Bradley – a fight ringsiders believe will be a walk-in-the-park for the Filipino star – Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum will line him up possibly against Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico, or against Floyd Mayweather, if both camps reach an agreement financially.

Arum had earlier expressed concern over Pacquiao’s behavior the past weeks, but is nevertheless confident that once he gets into training mode, his mood will change.

Pacquiao will spend three weeks in Baguio City and will wrap up the final stage at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.

The fact that Pacquiao is giving himself three more fights is reason enough to believe that the country’s greatest fighter ever remains motivated and hungry for more adulation.

Even if Pacquiao doesn’t end up facing Mayweather, his reputation as an all-time great will not be affected and his standing as an “immortal” will remain.