FORMER pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao will consider retirement if he loses to reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in their rematch on April 12 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
American trainer Freddie Roach said it is an important fight for the 35-year-old Pacquiao, who holds a 55-5-2 win-loss-draw card with 38 knockouts.
“This is a ‘must-win’ situation on Saturday night, and if we don’t win this fight we have to consider maybe retirement,” the six-time boxing trainer of the year told reporter Gareth Davies of the Telegraph Sports.com.
Roach, 54, also admitted that in the past, Pacquiao’s extra-curricular activities such as politics and Bible studies have affected his aggression and killer instincts inside the ring.
“Not right now. To be fair, he doesn’t have too much on, because he is very focused on this fight. The thing is The Bible is getting in the way a little bit, but I showed him in The Bible there is violence and there is payback.”
”I’ve had to work on that with him, because it does take his attention and can affect his mindset [for training].”
But Roach said a more aggressive Pacquiao may be seen in the ring because the boxing champ wants to teach Bradley a lesson.
The trainer added that he was amazed when he heard Pacquiao saying, “I will knock this guy out.”
”He was not too happy about the way Bradley was talking about him, he said he felt disrespected. You see, Manny is a good guy. He doesn’t talk bad about anybody, but he felt disrespected by [Bradley]. That switches on something in him,” Roach explained.
Bradley has also said he is keen on crushing Pacquiao.
“Winning is the only thing that matters,” Bradley,31, has said. “This fight is the only fight I care about in my whole career.”
“It’s a must-win for me and very important. I have to win this fight and I’m going to win this fight and anything after that is just gravy,” he said. Bradley boasts an unbeaten 31-0 slate with 12 knockouts.