MANILA, Philippines - Could this be the last fight for Manny Pacquiao?
Well, the boxer now being considered as the greatest of his era thinks so.
“Baka last fight ko na (It could be my last fight),” he said on TV yesterday of his highly-anticipated showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr., the undefeated American ex-pound-for-pound king.
Pacquiao, who turns 31 on Wednesday, now holds the distinction of being the best fighter in the planet, not long after scoring historic wins over Oscar dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto.
Pacquiao is the first and only boxer in history to win seven world titles in seven different weight classes – flyweight, super-bantam, featherweight, super-feather, lightweight, junior-welter and welter.
His victory over Cotto, who’s supposed to be much bigger and much stronger, cemented his place in boxing history, and after starting out at 105 lb he’s now the reigning world champion at 147 lb.
Following his sensational win over the Puerto Rican last Nov. 14 in Las Vegas, Pacquiao’s mother, Dionisia, said it’s about time to call it a day and that she can’t stand watching him fight again.
“Ayoko na makita siya lumaban at masaktan (I don’t want to see him fight and get hurt),” said Dionisia.
Pacquiao said retirement had crossed his mind a couple of times.
“Ayaw na talaga ng mama ko (My mother doesn’t want it anymore). Umiiyak na nga siya (And she cries),” said Pacquiao, now getting ready for another big birthday bash in his hometown in Sarangani.
Then he gets to enjoy more time with his family on Christmas and as they celebrate his wife Jinkee’s birthday on the first week of January. By that time, however, they could be in the United States.
Pacquiao and Mayweather, unless fate dictates otherwise, should be holding a press conference in New York on Jan. 6 or Jan 11 to announce the fight being billed as the fight of the new century.
Then it’s off to training, another seven to eight weeks, starting off in Baguio City and capping it at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. Pacquiao said he will train like never before because it could be his last.
The boxer is also seeking a congressional seat in Sarangani in the May 10 national elections.
That’s why his promoter, Bob Arum, is making sure Pacquiao gets the best of both ends in his fight with Mayweather. And as it is, despite a recent hitch, negotiations could be done and over with in a week.
While both camps are ironing out minor kinks in the contract, promoters are busy trimming down the choices as venue of the fight. As of presstime, the choices are down to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
Even before negotiations for this fight started, Pacquiao said if it’s Mayweather then he deserves a guaranteed purse of at least $25 million or almost P1.2 billion which is enough to fund a presidential campaign.
But his Canadian adviser, Mike Koncz, said because of the magnitude of the fight, the pride of the Philippines could end up with $50 million in his already fat bank account