Roach wants Pacquiao to continue his career
By Allan Fox: Manny Pacquiao disappointed many of his boxing fans last Saturday night by revealing that he’ll be retiring from boxing. Pacquiao went out on a high note in defeating Tim Bradley (33-2-1, 13 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the final seconds of the 12th round, Pacquiao appeared to hurt Bradley with a big left hand to the head that sent Bradley face first through the ropes. Bradley was able to regain his composure somewhat as the last second ticked off in the round. However, he was clearly staggered by the shot.
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach believes that Pacquiao still has a lot left in the tank, and he doesn’t see why he needs to retire right now because he still has enough left to win a couple of more fights before he should retire.
Roach even has fighters in mind that he would like to see Pacquiao face before he retires. Roach wants Pacquiao to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez with a rehydration clause to limit his ability to gain weight after the weigh-in. Roach also wants Pacquiao to fight Terence Crawford and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Roach feels that Pacquiao will beat Mayweather this time with a healthy right shoulder. Pacquiao’s shoulder didn’t look that healthy last night because he wasn’t using his right arm much in the fight,
“I would like to see him fight again, yes,” said Roach. “We’ve had a great 15 years together. If he retires, I’ll be happy for him. That’s kind of up to him. I know he’s in physical shape to keep fighting- his speed is good, his legs are good, his work ethic is great. He could continue to fight on, but if he retires and spends more time with his family and he enjoys life, and has something to fall back on, then I’ll be 100 per cent behind him.”
The decision could be taken out of Pacquiao’s hands if he gets elected into the senate in the Philippines next May. That job has a six-year commitment, and Pacquiao doesn’t seem like the type that would resign his post if he gets elected. He seems like the type that would stick it out until the bitter end in the same way that Arnold Schwarzenegger stuck it out with his gig as the governor of California.
If Pacquiao does return to the ring in 2016 or 2017, his promoter Bob Arum will have some interesting fights for him even if he can’t get him lined up for a rematch against Mayweather or a fight against Canelo. Arum would gladly set Pacquiao up for a fight against Arum’s fighter Terence Crawford or WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.
Whether those are interesting enough fights to lure Pacquiao out of retirement is the big question. Arum might hurt his cause if he dangles those names in front of Pacquiao to try and get him to continue his career because those are not big enough fights to keep Pacquiao in the game. Those are actually a step down for Pacquiao from his fight against Bradley.
“You know, it’s a difficult sport to quit, it’s really, really hard to retire and I think he hasn’t realized that yet. But he will soon,” said Roach. “We talked about it being his last pro fight and I said ‘Go out with a bang, let’s look good doing it.’ And he did that. I thought at moments tonight he looked better than he has done in a really long time. When I see Manny aggressive like that – that’s the best Manny Pacquiao. I saw him smiling quite a lot in the ring tonight and that just tells me how much he loves the sport.”
If Pacquiao does decide to fight on, it’s likely that he’ll make the decision within the next year. If he hasn’t made a comeback after the next 12 months, then it’s very unlikely that he’ll ever come back. Pacquiao isn’t the type to stay out of the ring for five to ten years and then try and make a comeback. However, there aren’t any big names right now that are there to get Pacquiao to come back. Canelo is the only one that might be tempting, but Pacquiao hasn’t looked excited about wanting to face him. You can see it on his face when people ask him about Canelo. Pacquiao does not look eager to take that fight.