Will he, won’t he, or will he do something else?
by Hernan Melencio
Not long ago, boxing champ Manny Pacquiao announced that God had come up to the ringside and whispered some new advice to him: quit.
“I will not stay long in boxing because God said “you have done enough. You have made yourself famous but this is harmful,’” said Manny.
Earlier this year, he also told his fans he had a dream of God which became his epiphany. He gave up his vices – drinking, womanizing and gambling. He got rid of his collection of fighting cocks. Quotes from the Bible started appearing on his official website and he started dropping Jumbo-sized hints about hanging up the gloves.
But then, perhaps, he had a little think. Maybe he sat down with his accountant and they did a bit of financial forecasting. Maybe his ongoing rumble with the taxman – it was announced just last week that he is under investigation and it could get nasty – was preying on his mind.
Whatever it was, he has announced he will indeed be retiring from the ring – but just let him fight one “last” match, against American Tim Bradley in June.
Then there’s the mouthwatering prospect – mouthwatering if you like boxing, that is – of him going up against his undefeated rival, Floyd Mayweather.
The fans and the promoters would love that. The money would be handy too. But it’s a fixture that would be highly unlikely to happen before the end of this year. So he could still be trading blows in 2013.
Which means that, despite the urging from priests and bishops to give up the “immoral” sport and become the Catholic Church’s “Bible ambassador,” Manny’s still ducking and diving and keeping them guessing.
And now yet another rumour has surfaced: that he will announce his retirement by the end of this month, but he will also announce a jump to another religion.
Some people think all the bumps he has taken in his numerous fights have sent him slightly off his rocker. But the word is, he is thinking of following Mike Velarde, leader of the Catholic charismatic group El Shaddai.
You often hear of people “standing at a crossroads.” If all the stories about Pacquiao are true, right now he’s standing at a roundabout.