12 Dec 2012

Many Philippines want Pacquiao to retire

5:54 am on 12 December 2012

Philippine media commentators have put pressure on boxing great Manny Pacquiao to retire after his heavy defeat in Las Vegas, with one comparing him to Parkinson's disease sufferer Muhammad Ali.

The southpaw, who turns 34 next Monday, has vowed to fight on.

But many suspect that nearly 18 years of pro ring combat are now taking their toll on the man once seen by many as the world's finest pound-for-pound fighter.

Pacquiao, a national hero, was knocked out by Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on Sunday in his second consecutive defeat.

Pacquiao, who fought his way out of poverty as a teenager and is now immensely wealthy, controversially lost his World Boxing Organisation welterweight crown to unbeaten US fighter Timothy Bradley in June.

Philippine Olympic Committee vice-president Joey Romasanta said Pacquiao should have quit after his last winning title defence in November 2011, when he retained his WBO welterweight crown against his old foe Marquez, now 39.

Despite their misgivings, many more Filipinos still want Pacquiao to go out on a high note by winning a dream match before retiring.

To many, that would pit him against undefeated American fighter Floyd Mayweather Jnr, even though earlier efforts to set up the bout have failed.