[PHOTO AT LEFT - Manny's adviser, Wakee Salud]

MANILA, MARCH 24, 2010 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Now is not the right time for Manny Pacquiao to retire.

“He must fight Mayweather first,” said the boxer’s adviser Wakee Salud yesterday after Pacquiao, at 31 still at his prime, announced the other day that he’s seriously thinking of retirement.

Pacquiao, who has won his last 12 fights, including big ones against Oscar dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, said he would consult with his family and see if they’re all in the same page.

But Salud said as long as Floyd Mayweather Jr. is around, trash-talking his way into the elite boxing circle, it would be very difficult or impossible for Pacquiao to just turn his back on the sport.

“I don’t believe that he’s going to retire soon,” said Salud from Cebu.

“It’s a tough call. He can announce today that he’s retiring but after four or five months he will surely look for a fight,” said Salud, and that’s regardless of what happens to Pacquiao’s bid in the May elections.

The matchmaker from the south said it would be much easier for Pacquiao to hang up his gloves if Mayweather did not come out of his own retirement last year, in pursuit of the super-fight with the Filipino boxer.

“As long as Mayweather is there, and they haven’t fought, it will be very tough for Manny to retire,” he said.

Salud explained that there’s just too much money to be made in a fight against Mayweather, and with so much hype and attention the projected bout has generated, it just makes it more attractive.

Pacquiao, who has earned $53 million for his last four fights, including the $12 million he got for beating Joshua Clottey last March 13 in Dallas, stands to earn as much as $50 million if he takes on Mayweather.

“The purse will be huge. How can he retire? And aside from the money, the Mayweather fight is the fight that the people will ask for. Manny is a boxer, he’s a fighter. If he is called to a fight, he will fight Mayweather,” said Salud.

“I don’t think he would simply retire.”

What Pacquiao should do, his adviser said, is face Mayweather in November, beat him, and if he wins, then he can retire.

“Because once he beats Mayweather, only then can he say that he has accomplished everything in boxing. And once he beats Mayweather, everybody can say that there’s no one else out there for Manny to fight,” said Salud.

“That’s the best time for Manny to retire – once he beats Mayweather. That will be the perfect ending to his career,” he added.

Mommy D to persuade son to retire (The Philippine Star) Updated March 20, 2010 12:00 AM

KORONADAL CITY, Philippines – Saying her son has had enough of boxing, Manny Pacquiao’s mother Dionesia yesterday said she would do anything to persuade the Filipino icon to retire from the brutal sport.

“Handa akong lumuhod at umiyak sa harap ng anak ko para lang mapahinto ko siya sa boxing (I’m ready to kneel down and cry in front of my son to convince him to retire from boxing),” Mommy Dionesia said.

She said she would do it when Pacquiao returns to their hometown in Sarangani province next week.

Pacquiao, who is coming off a one-sided victory over Joshua Clottey in Texas last week, is running for a congressional seat in Sarangani against Roy Chiongbian, a well-known businessman and said to be the “gatekeeper” of the Chiongbian’s business empires in the country.

“Masakit tingnan na nakikita mo ang anak mo na nakikipagsuntukan sa loob ng ring habang naghihiyawan ang mga tao. Masakit tingnan na nakikita mo ang anak mo na tumutulo ang dugo sa mukha habang sinusuntok (It pains when you see your son fighting in the ring while the fans roar. It pains when you see blood flowing down on your son’s face as he is being punched),” Mrs. Dionesia said.

Mrs. Dionesia admitted that she cried when she saw her son’s bloodied face against Clottey.

“Noong maliliit pa ang mga anak ko iningatan at inalagaan ko sila. Masyadong masakit sa akin na makita ang mukha ng mga anak ko na puro mga pasa dahil sa mga suntok ng ibang tao (When my children were still young, I took care of them. It hurts when you see your children’s swollen face because of the punches),” Mrs. Dionesia said.

When asked about Pacquiao’s plan to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., Mrs. Dionesia said she does not want the fight to push through.

“Sana pakinggan naman ako ni Manny. Sana huwag na niyang habulin ang makukuha niyang premyo sa planong paglaban nilang dalawa ni Mayweather (I hope Manny will listen to me. I hope he won’t go after the prize money in the planned bout between him and Mayweather),” she said.

Mrs. Dionesia said she believes that Pacquiao would listen to her, saying “dahil para rin naman sa ikabubuti ni Manny ang hinihingi ko sa kanya (I’m asking this favor for his own good).”

Pacquiao’s father Rosalio, on the other hand, said it will all depend on Manny whether to retire from boxing or not.

Rosalio said if his son does not want to retire from boxing, the only choice of his mother is “to support Manny in his decision.” – Ramil Bajo

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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