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Pacquiao vs Bradley III: Manny not sounding firm on retirement, Roach talks Crawford, Canelo as future fights

Manny Pacquiao is hinting that he may stick around in boxing after Saturday's fight with Tim Bradley, and both Terence Crawford and Canelo Alvarez have been brought up as opponents for the future.

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Manny Pacquiao is supposedly retiring after Saturday's fight with Timothy Bradley, the third meeting between the two welterweight veterans, but there remains the feeling that maybe, just maybe, this won't truly be it.

Despite Pacquiao, 37, saying he's focused on his run for Senate in the Philippines and a post-boxing life that includes more time with his family, he doesn't sound truly committed to the retirement, which is something of a minor shift in tone.

"It's hard to say right now, because I'm not there yet," he said. "I don't know what my feeling will be when I'm there. I don't know yet what my feeling will be when I get there."

Freddie Roach is clearly still hopeful that Pacquiao will fight on, even if only a few more times. "He's fought long enough, but I think he hasn't slowed down at all. His work ethic is still really great. I think he still has a couple fights left in him.

"We do have an agreement, I told him once I see signs of him being -- not shot, but just not the same fighter anymore, I'll tell him and he'll retire. But I don't see that yet. We've had a great training camp for this fight, and he's in as great as shape as I've seen him."

Roach is willing to discuss possible future opponents, even if Pacquiao is staying entirely focused on the task at hand against Bradley. Floyd Mayweather, of course, is the fight that Roach wants the most, but there are other options, including Terence Crawford, who was passed over as an opponent for the April 9 date.

"Bob offered me that fight, we said yes," Roach replied at a media Q&A on Tuesday, when asked about not fighting Crawford. "I don't think it was us that didn't make that fight happen."

Promoter Bob Arum took the blame, as it were, for Pacquiao-Crawford not happening.

"I've told everybody the same frickin' thing over and over again," he said, taking over the conversation. "Crawford is an excellent, excellent fighter. A future star for Top Rank and for boxing. But Crawford wasn't known to the people. He had been in a couple of fights on HBO, and we were afraid to put him as a major opponent on a Manny Pacquiao card."

Arum worked in a smiling plug for the card at the same time, adding, "That was before I decided to come up with the idea of the 'No Trump' card, because with the 'No Trump' undercard, Manny could've fought anybody, and we'd still do a million homes."

Crawford, who is scheduled to return on July 23 in Los Angeles, came up again later, when they were asked about possible future opponents. Pacquiao stayed quiet, but Roach was happy to field the question.

"Crawford's one we've talked about. I have no problem with Manny fighting Crawford if he decides to go on, I think it's a great fight for the world and I think the best should fight the best, and they're two of the best out there at this point," he said. "I would like to see him fight Crawford, but again, after the fight Manny will have a better idea of what he wants to do, for sure."

As for the biggest money fight out there that doesn't involve Floyd Mayweather, Roach says he and Pacquiao have also discussed Canelo Alvarez.

"We've talked about it," he said. "I know he's big. Manny's always done well with big guys. I think Manny can outbox Canelo. It's a difficult fight, I know. But I think when we get a look at Amir Khan and how that goes, we'll have a better idea. Because Amir is like Manny, he's a good athlete, very athletic and very fast."

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