Manny Pacquiao, fresh off a victory over Timothy Bradley to regain his WBO welterweight belt, may be on the verge of retiring. Though Manny has not yet spoken to this rumor, if the mother of his children has anything to say about it, Manny has fought his last fight.
Because Manny and his wife are expecting their fifth child at the end of April, she was unable to travel with him to Las Vegas to see his bout against Bradley. However, upon learning that Pacquiao won his both against Bradley, Manny’s wife Jinkee said that now is the time for Manny to retire.
In an impromptu press event after the end of the bout, Jinkee — who also stayed behind in the Philippines during Manny’s training — said that Pacquiao now has nothing to prove and that he should hang up his gloves and spend more time with his family.
She also said that Manny is not getting any younger and that it is about time for him to give up boxing while he is at the top of his game. Manny — who is 35 years old — is considered by many to be one of the best pound-for-pound boxers of all time.
Despite her concern, none of Pacquiao’s wife’s concerns should be considered anything less than supportive. She said that regardless of what Manny is doing, her love, prayers, and support are always with him.
Of course, if Pacquiao should choose to retire, he wouldn’t be the first great athlete to retire before his skills start to significantly deteriorate. Here are some other great athletes who have chosen to hang it up while at the top of their games:
In 1997, the Detroit Lions running back became the third player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards. One season later, he was retired. Unlike Manny, Barry never won a championship.
Jordan retired in 1993 after winning three straight championships. After a season and a half away from the NBA, Jordan returned to lead the Chicago Bulls to three more championships. If Manny does retire, it seems unlikely he would be able to make such a return.
Koufax was actually five years younger than Pacquiao when he retired from the Brooklyn Dodgers after an elbow injury. Still, many view Koufax as one of the greatest pitchers ever.
There’s no telling yet if Manny Pacquiao will actually choose to retire, but if he does, at least he’ll go out on top.