There's no doubt Manny Pacquiao is in the twilight years of his illustrious boxing career, and although he wants to continue fighting, those closest to him are beginning to doubt his diminishing abilities.
Trainer Freddie Roach is advising the 38-year-old Pacquiao to hang up his gloves and focus on his political career.
“I think it’s a good time for him to retire right now,” Roach said to Fighthype in talking about Miguel Cotto's decision to retire after his next fight. “I kind of wish Manny Pacquiao would follow his lead and retire also. Being a professional boxer and a senator at the same time is very difficult. He still wants a couple of more fights. He’s doing a good job as a senator right now, but not as a boxer."
Pacquiao, who has served as a senator in his native Philipines since the summer of 2016, is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Jeff Horn last summer. Splitting his time between training for upcoming bouts, and squaring off with the opposition in the political ring surely isn't helping him maintain his once untouchable skills. Pacquiao was clearly favoring his left hand in his last fight, a clear indication his surgically-repaired right shoulder was still bothering him. His career has been in constant decline since he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in one of the most-anticipated bouts in recent history in 2015.
The eight-division world boxing champion is rumored to be in the mix for a rematch with Horn next year, a fight Roach clearly doesn't believe Pacquiao can win. Roach and Pacquiao have taken the boxing world by storm since they met in 2001, and Roach has previously stated he'll continue to work with the legend until he officially decides to call it quits.
Pacquiao has gone on the record recently stating he's frustrated with his career in politics, leading many to believe he's still got something left in the tank.
“I feel dismayed, discouraged. I want to let go because I’m not used to politicking,” Pacquiao told The Philipine Star on Tuesday.
If Pacquiao fights in 2018, his promoter Bob Arum will likely match him against the victor of the Jeff Horn vs. Terence Crawford bout. He will carry an incredible 59-7-2 professional record into his next fight, should he choose to continue his Hall-of-Fame worthy career.