By Julia Rivera, For The Miami Student
If Manny Pacquiao knows what’s good for his family and his country, he won’t walk away from boxing.
Count promoter Bob Arum is among boxing followers who believe Manny Pacquiao’s retirement from boxing is likely to be more of a trial separation.
Arum promoted Pacquiao’s decision victory over Timothy Bradley Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Saturday night and has the rights to any Pacquiao fights through 2017. When Pacquiao announced his retirement after the win, he left the door for a comeback wide open.
“He’s torn,” Arum said. “His wife wants him to retire. He’s running for office, and if he wins, which he will, there will be tremendous responsibilities that go with it.”
Pacquiao is one of the senatorial candidates running for office in the 2016 Philippine Elections, which are scheduled for May 9. Pacquiao’s known generosity and desire to give back to his nation may come at a cost.
“He doesn’t have money problems now,” Arum said. “But of course, he’s going to have money problems if he’s going to be building hospitals out of his own pocket instead of letting the [Philippine] government build the hospitals.”
Pacquiao, who earned a reported $160 million for his bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May, will reportedly receive $20 million for the Bradley fight. Pacquiao’s fights have generated more than $1 billion in pay-per-view revenue in the United States.
For a man to walk away from that kind of money, which he rightfully deserves, it’s dumb.
If Pacquiao wins the election and wishes to actually improve the Philippines, he is more likely than not going to be spending his own money. In a country that urgently needs resources to pay for relief and an economic reconstruction, a person can’t single-handedly be the one to do that. Since Typhoon Haiyan hit, the Philippines sends out $22 million a day in debt payments. Even his advisers have tried to convince Pacquiao that he cannot support an entire nation on his own.
To attempt to keep the country afloat, Pacquiao needs a steady money stream, but will he have time to balance both worlds of politics and boxing?
The 37-year old was elected to the Philippine House of Representatives five years ago. Although he has had experience juggling two completely separate jobs, being a senator is much different than being in the House of Representatives.
Ultimately, Pacquiao is an incredible fighter who would be walking away too soon. Sure, the Mayweather fight was a huge disappointment, and the Bradley win was uneventful, but it just seems like it’s not the right time for him to say goodbye.
“In my heart, I’m 50-50,” Pacquiao said. “But I love my family, and I won’t hurt my family, my kids. I don’t know, I might enjoy my retired life or I might want to come back. It’s hard to say because I’m not there yet. But right now, my decision is to retire.”
If this is the last of his boxing days, at least he’s walking away for a good cause: the people of the Philippines.