There’s a lot more than usual riding on Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Brandon Rios later this month.
Coming off two straight losses, he will consider retiring if he loses a fight that he had dedicated to victims of Typhoon Haiyan in his native Philippines.
“If it does not go well,” trainer Freddie Roach said in a conference call (via the Associated Press, “we will seriously talk about his retirement and possibly going to politics.”
“We will seriously talk about his retirement,” trainer Freddie Roach said if the Rios fight “does not go well.”
Pacquiao, a 34-year-old national hero who is a congressman in the Philippines, will fight Rios on Nov. 24 in Macau. In his last two bouts, he lost to Timothy Bradley in a controversial judges’ decision and to Juan Manuel Marquez in a knockout. Although Roach said he doesn’t see Pacquiao “slipping in the ring at all,” he will know when it’s time for him to stop fighting.
“It’s really hard to say until we see the fight, but I will be the first one to tell him to retire,” Roach said, “and we have an agreement that as soon as I tell him that, he will retire.”
For now, Pacquiao will concentrate on Rios and will continue to train south of the typhoon-devastated areas. He and his trainers decamp for Macau on Monday.
“I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy. But I’m in deep training for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go.”
“I will send help to those who need it the most and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.”