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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

'Fight Mayweather, then retire'

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By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated March 24, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Now is not the right time for Manny Pacquiao to retire.

“He must fight Mayweather first,” said the boxer’s adviser Wakee Salud yesterday after Pacquiao, at 31 still at his prime, announced the other day that he’s seriously thinking of retirement.

Pacquiao, who has won his last 12 fights, including big ones against Oscar dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, said he would consult with his family and see if they’re all in the same page.

But Salud said as long as Floyd Mayweather Jr. is around, trash-talking his way into the elite boxing circle, it would be very difficult or impossible for Pacquiao to just turn his back on the sport.

“I don’t believe that he’s going to retire soon,” said Salud from Cebu.

“It’s a tough call. He can announce today that he’s retiring but after four or five months he will surely look for a fight,” said Salud, and that’s regardless of what happens to Pacquiao’s bid in the May elections.

The matchmaker from the south said it would be much easier for Pacquiao to hang up his gloves if Mayweather did not come out of his own retirement last year, in pursuit of the super-fight with the Filipino boxer.

“As long as Mayweather is there, and they haven’t fought, it will be very tough for Manny to retire,” he said.

Salud explained that there’s just too much money to be made in a fight against Mayweather, and with so much hype and attention the projected bout has generated, it just makes it more attractive.

Pacquiao, who has earned $53 million for his last four fights, including the $12 million he got for beating Joshua Clottey last March 13 in Dallas, stands to earn as much as $50 million if he takes on Mayweather.

“The purse will be huge. How can he retire? And aside from the money, the Mayweather fight is the fight that the people will ask for. Manny is a boxer, he’s a fighter. If he is called to a fight, he will fight Mayweather,” said Salud.

“I don’t think he would simply retire.”

What Pacquiao should do, his adviser said, is face Mayweather in November, beat him, and if he wins, then he can retire.

“Because once he beats Mayweather, only then can he say that he has accomplished everything in boxing. And once he beats Mayweather, everybody can say that there’s no one else out there for Manny to fight,” said Salud.

“That’s the best time for Manny to retire – once he beats Mayweather. That will be the perfect ending to his career,” he added.

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