Following his victory over Timothy Bradley Jr. at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last Saturday night, world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, a born-again Christian pastor from the Philippines, announced that he is retiring from boxing. As a parting gift, he also invited Bradley to Bible study.
However, despite apparently asking what time the Sunday evening Bible study would be, it was reported that Bradley gave it a miss in the end.
For Pacquiao, he's looking forward to having more time on his hands to take care of the people he loves.
"I've committed to my family that after this fight I will spend more time with them and focus to serve the people of the Philippines," Pacquiao told The L.A. Times. "That is my priority."
He is currently running for a seat in the Philippine Senate after serving two terms as congressman for the province of Sarangani. Filipinos go to the polls on May 9 this year to elect a new president and other national and local officials.
A boxing analyst says Pacquiao's retirement might have a lot to do with his political plans.
"Can he handle the schedule of being in Manila for Senate work and train as a boxer at the same time? If he misses meetings, it better be for a good reason," the analyst said.
At the same time, Pacquiao dismissed rumours that he is retiring from boxing because his body could no longer take a beating. "If you ask me about my condition, my body... I'm still OK," he said after the bout. "I can still give a good fight. I worked hard in training. I feel OK. I like to fight, the way we prepare. I'm happy doing that."
Pacquiao added that giving up boxing was not an easy decision because he loves the sport so much. However, he also loves spending time with his family and helping his countrymen rise from poverty.
"Let me enjoy first a retired life," Pacquiao told his fans. "If you ask me [if I'll] come back, I don't know. I might be enjoying retired life. I'm not there [retired life] yet, so I don't know the feeling. I've committed to my family, I've made my decision already."
In addition to politics and boxing, Pacquiao has also given a lot of his time in the past to community projects and last year completed a 5.7 acre church, school and community complex in General Santos City in the Philippines.
"I want to leave behind a legacy of faith and a House of God," Pacquiao said at the time. "This is more self-fulfilling than my achievements in boxing and politics."