General Santos - Filipino boxing champion
Manny Pacquiao said he would end his legendary career after fighting Timothy
Bradley in April to concentrate on his political career, dousing hopes for a
rematch with Floyd Mayweather.
The winner of an unprecedented eight world
titles, who has flirted with the idea of running for president, said he was
confident of winning a senate seat in the May elections.
Pacquiao is facing American welterweight
Bradley for the third time on April 9, after losing to his biggest rival
Mayweather in the sport's richest fight in May last year.
"I am retiring from boxing to
concentrate on my political career. My fight with Timothy Bradley will be my
last," Pacquiao said in an interview in his mansion late Monday.
The 37-year-old member of parliament
dismissed reports that he would not step away from the sport without a rematch
with American Mayweather, who himself retired after beating Pacquiao.
"I did not say anything like that.
Nobody interviewed me about that. I will retire after my April 9 fight,"
Pacquiao lost by unanimous decision to his
brash arch-rival Mayweather, whom he fought with a torn rotator cuff that later
He has won 57 fights, including 38
knockouts, lost six and had two draws in a professional career spanning more
than 20 years after being raised in poverty.
Pacquiao is ranked seventh in the race for
12 seats in the nationally-elected senate. He currently represents the southern
province of Sarangani in parliament.
The senate is a traditional springboard for
future presidential campaigns. Three of the last Philippines presidents,
including the incumbent Benigno Aquino, were senators before they were elected
to the country's highest office.
"My survey rankings have been
consistent and I expect it to improve once the campaign starts," he said.
The former fish vendor is adored by the
Filipino masses who are inspired by his rags-to-riches life story.
Aside from politics, Pacquiao has parlayed
his ring legend status to a career in movies, television and product
He is also a pastor in a born-again
Christian group and credits his renewed faith for transforming him to a devoted
family man from a hard-partying womaniser.
In a recent television interview, Pacquiao
said he "prayed to God for guidance" before deciding to concentrate
Pacquiao, however, has been criticised for
putting his boxing training before his duties in parliament. Last year, he
attended just four of the 70 legislative sessions.
In one of the rare times he took the floor
in parliament in 2011, he argued against a bill that would provide free condoms
for the poor, citing his Christian beliefs. The bill was eventually signed into