The second half of this generation’s most popular boxers will be hanging his gloves up less than a year after his more popular counterpart did in September.
Manny Pacquiao, after spending more than two decades as a professional boxer, will be retiring after his first and only fight in 2016, according to his promoter Bob Arum.
“I’m telling you what he told me last week at dinner in New York,” Arum said to ESPN. “We talked very seriously, and he said, ‘Bob, hopefully, by the middle of May I will have been elected senator in the Philippines, and at that point I cannot engage in boxing because I need to focus on the senate and I have to be in attendance.’
“Manny told me this fight on April 9 will be his last fight.”
Pacquiao has not fought since losing a 12-round unanimous decision against Floyd Mayweather in May — far and away the sport’s most lucrative fight in a contest consisting of the two biggest draws boxing has produced since Oscar De La Hoya retired several years ago.
The 36-year-old fighter’s return to the ring has been a highly anticipated one, considering he’s been sidelined since losing to Mayweather after suffering a shoulder injury.
It was heavily speculated that he’d be facing decorated British boxing star Amir Khan upon his return from surgery, but talks reportedly fell through between the two sides. According to Arum, Pacquiao is now considering a fight with Khan, Terrence Crawford or a third fight with Timothy Bradley.