Pacquiao could consider retirement after Rios bout
BANGKOK (AP) — Manny Pacquiao’s trainer says the Filipino boxer will contemplate retirement if he fails to perform well against Brandon Rios this month.
Freddie Roach said if the Rios fight “does not go well, we will seriously talk about his retirement,” but that Pacquiao was training as well as ever for the Nov. 24 bout in Macau.
Pacquiao is coming off successive defeats against Timothy Bradley in a much-criticized judges’ decision, and then a knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez.
A third successive defeat would put his career at the crossroads, and while Roach said performance levels were more important than results, he acknowledged serious thought would have to be given to the future of “Pac-man” if he does not return to his best in Macau.
Pacquiao is juggling his boxing career with responsibilities as a Philippines congressman and other outside interests, and defeat could see him turn his attentions fully to his commitments outside the ring.
“If it does not go well, we will seriously talk about his retirement and possibly going to politics,” Roach said in a teleconference on Wednesday.
“It’s really hard to say until we see the fight, but I will be the first one to tell him to retire, and we have an agreement that as soon as I tell him that, he will retire.”
However Roach said “I don’t see him slipping in the ring at all.”
The duo have been preparing in the southern city of General Santos City, which was not affected by the typhoon that hit the east coast of the Philippines last Friday.
Roach said General Santos City remained hot and sunny as Typhoon Haiyan devastated more northern parts of the country, killing thousands and leaving more than half a million people homeless.
His status as a national hero in the Philippines meant Pacquiao considered leaving the training camp to help relief efforts, but Roach said it was too close to the fight to alter preparations.
“It’s way too close to the fight, he needs to double down,” Roach said, although he granted his fighter much of Wednesday off, giving him the chance to help out remotely.
The brutal nature of the Marquez knockout, when Pacquiao fell face first to the canvas, raised questions about whether he could maintain the all-action, on-rushing style which propelled him to the top of boxing.
Roach said he saw no sign of any inhibition or caution in his style so far during a scheduled 110 rounds of preparation.
“I know people are skeptical about that. Manny is a realist. He accepts it. It does not bother him,” Roach said. “If you don’t think you’re going to be knocked out, you’ve got the wrong sport.”