Via our friends at Fighthub TV, here's Manny Pacquiao a couple of weeks back talking about his eventual and inevitable retirement:
"Any time, I can announce my retirement. No problem to me if I'm going to retire. The problem is, who else can be Manny Pacquiao? ... [on passing the torch] We love boxing. I love boxing. Of course, when the time comes, I want somebody holding the torch, to continue boxing after me. It doesn't matter to me [where they're from]. As long as there's one fighter, and one boxer who can be an idol to all the fans."
Pacquiao is turns 33 on December 17, and in his last couple of fights, he's had some physical issues with leg cramps that have slowed him down some. I don't think there's any question that he's aging in the ring -- it doesn't mean he's not still one of the very best in the game, or not still a must-see fighter, because he is. But he's getting into his mid-30s and he's had a lot of hard fights over the last 16 years as a professional.
Pacquiao's contract with Top Rank runs through the end of 2013, and most expect that he won't fight after that. He has legitimate goals outside of the sport, including his political career in the Philippines, and it's not like he'd be leaving us with unfulfilled promise. He's become a bigger star than anyone could have ever dreamed.