Manny Pacquiao said the other day he intends to stick to his plan to retire after a farewell fight against Timothy Bradley next week -- but admits he could be tempted into a rethink once he has hung up his gloves.
The 37-year-old is preparing to bring the curtain down on one of the greatest careers boxing has ever seen when he fights Bradley for the third time at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on April 10 (PHL time).
The devoutly religious Pacquiao is hoping to win election to the Philippines Senate in May elections, hoping to use his profile to serve the people in what he describes as a crusade to root out wickedness.
But speaking to reporters at the famed Wild Card gym in the heart of Hollywood yesterday, Pacquiao refused to definitively rule out a possible return to the ring at some point in the future.
Asked to confirm if Bradley would be his last fight, Pacquiao replied: "After this I've decided to go back to the Philippines and serve the people. That's it."
Yet when pressed further on whether he could change his mind, Pacquiao refused to rule out a return.
"I'm not saying. It's hard to say. At the moment I'm here training for the next fight. I cannot say yes or no. My decision is to go back to the Philippines and help the people.
"I don't want to say something that you know we don't know yet. I don't know what the feeling is going to be like when I'm retired."
Some of those closest to Pacquiao -- veteran promoter Bob Arum and his long-time trainer Freddie Roach -- hope he prolongs his career.
"I'm hoping it's not his last fight because I still think he has a lot left in him," Roach said. "There's some interesting fights out there."*AFP
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