Manny Pacquiao’s future has been plunged back into uncertainty just a day after he confirmed his retirement from boxing.
The serving senator and boxer announced his retirement from the sport on Monday, September 20, in order to focus on his presidential ambition in the Philippines.
Speaking with actress Toni Gonzaga on her YouTube program Toni Talks, he said that his defeat by Ugas last month was the final fight of his 26-year, 72-fight professional career.
“My boxing career? My boxing career is already over,” Pacquiao said. “It’s done because I’ve been in boxing for a long time and my family says that it is enough. I just continued [to box] because I’m passionate about this sport.
“I will just support other boxers for us to have a champion again.”
However, an advisor to the former multiple-weight world champion has said that his retirement is far from final despite the fighter’s defeat by Yordenis Ugas last month.
Sean Gibbons, the president of Pacquiao’s promotional company, has told ESPN that the boxing star is still considering what’s next for his career, and has yet to fully retire.
“In the coming weeks, the senator will decide how he’s going to finish his professional boxing career,” he said.
“After the fight and recently, he’s discussed retiring [or] maybe one more [fight]. He’s just talking out loud about different situations.
“Until you see it officially comes out on his Twitter or Instagram, he isn’t retired. Once you see it on a platform like that, it’s official.
“Anything else is just talking about what his thoughts are in the moment. It’s coming from him, but it’s hearsay.”
Pacquiao has served as a senator in the Philippines since 2016 and has now accepted the nomination of his political allies during the national assembly of the faction he leads in the ruling PDP-Laban party.
“I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring,” Pacquiao, said in a speech made over live-stream.
“I am accepting your nomination as candidate for president of the Republic of the Philippines.”
The 42-year-old won world titles at eight different weight classes, and 12 major titles during his iconic career.