Jinkee Pacquiao happy the Pacman’s retiring in April
NEW YORK CITY—Now that it’s confirmed Manny Pacquiao is retiring, boxing may never be the same again.
And if there’s one person who couldn’t wait to see the Pacman leave boxing for good, that would be his wife, Jinkee.
“I’m not sad [that he’s retiring], I’m happy, it’s an answered prayer for me,” the beaming Mrs. Pacquiao told INQUIRER.net in an interview after the Pac-Bradley presser Thursday afternoon, January 21 at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.
“We’ve been praying for it ever since he lost to [Juan Manuel] Marquez in 2012,” Mrs. Pacquiao confided.
Jinkee Pacquiao, who is the incumbent vice-governor of Sarangani province, made clear that her husband’s decision to retire in April is very timely as “he is running for the [Philippine] Senate.”
Focus on politics
Mrs. Pacquiao admitted that the eight-division world champion needs to focus as a public servant. “That’s what he really wants now. He’s already 37 after all. And wala na siyang dapat patunayan pa [he has nothing more to prove]. I have so much faith in him whether as a boxer, a politician or a husband,” she said.
In his speech during the press event, Manny Pacquiao said as much, but in a subdued tone. “It’s sad to say that this is my last fight, with Tim Bradley, and sad to say that after this, I am going to retire and hang up my gloves and focus on my big responsibility in life to help my people.”
Coach Freddie Roach, the Pacman’s longtime trainer, seemed resigned to this turn of events.
“Well, if he’s going to be senator, he can’t be boxer at the same time,” Roach told INQUIRER.net. “I think he already has too much on his plate. If he’s going to be senator he needs to retire from boxing. Both jobs are very demanding.”
Pacman is set to fight with Timothy Bradley in a 12-round WBO Welterweight Championship battle April 9 this year at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. This is their third face-off, and Manny Pacquiao said he couldn’t be more excited.
Bradley in much better shape
According to him, Team Pacquiao had heard about Bradley’s much better fighting shape, and it was a major reason for picking the WBO title bout.
“I chose Bradley to be my opponent kay challenging para sa akoa nga mas prepared na siya karon [because I find it challenging that he is better prepared now],” the Sarangani representative replied when interviewed by this reporter in Visayan.
Asked if anyone had influenced him to retire, he said: “Matagal na akong kinu-kumbinsi ng Mama ko at ng mga kamag-anak ko na tama na ‘yung boxing [My mother and other relatives have long been asking me to quit boxing],” he said. “Ang pag retire nako akong decision ni ug sa akong pamilya [My retirement is a personal decision along with my family].”
In his speech during the press event, Bradley thanked the Pacman “for choosing me and that goes to show you what type of fighter Pacquiao is, what type of man he is. He could beat anybody else, but Pacquiao always picks a challenge. He knows this is going to be a challenge”.
Top Rank founder and CEO Bob Arum had high hopes for the upcoming bout.
“I think this will be a tremendous fight,” he told INQUIRER.net. “I think Manny will see a new and improved Tim Bradley. It’s going to be a terrific fight. And I think if this truly is Manny’s last fight, he’ll be very proud of this fight.”
On whether winning or losing would still be a factor for Pacquiao, the Jewish boxing promoter said Pacman “is a competitor and he always wants to win with every bone in his body.”
In his introductory remarks during the event, Arum did not mince words in paying tribute to the legendary Filipino fighter.
“Prior to Manny Pacquiao, Americans knew very little about the Philippines,” he said. “Yeah we knew about Bataan, the Corregidor, General [Douglas] MacArthur ‘I shall return,’ but that’s so limited of what we knew about the Philippines. Now thanks to Manny, we know so much more.
“One thing we don’t realize as Americans is that if there’s one country in the world that’s most similar to the United States, it’s the Philippines— [from] their political system to the way people react. We really learned about the Filipino people, we learn[ed] about the great country of the Philippines and that is [in] no small measure [due] to Manny Pacquiao.
“He has been a tremendous, tremendous symbol of all that’s good in athletics, all that’s good in the Filipino people. And because of him, so many of us in this great country have a special place in our hearts for the Philippines. It’s great to see this case of a great boxer. We all can take pride in his accomplishments and how he has conducted himself. For me, it’s such a great pleasure to have known him,” he said in his speech.
‘Gives, gives, gives’
In an interview with this reporter, Arum noted that he had nothing to do with Pacquiao’s decision to retire and was also delighted to endorse his political ambition.
“I would say that that decision to retire is Manny’s own decision. Whether somebody influenced him in that decision, I wouldn’t know. I certainly didn’t, but I can’t speak for other people talking to him. He has made that decision to retire after this fight. But I think he’d make a great politician. Unlike most politicians who take, take, take, Manny Pacquiao is the anti-politician ‘cause he gives, gives, gives!”
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