Manny Pacquiao’s wife and mother said the Filipino fighter should retire after Saturday’s knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.
“When you see your husband get hurt, you cannot even sleep,” Jinkee Pacquiao, Manny’s wife, said in an interview on the GMA Network that aired Monday in the Philippines.
Jinkee was highly emotional Saturday following the knockout, weeping inconsolably as she attempted to climb into the ring to reach her fallen husband after a counter right hand from Marquez left him face down and unconscious on the canvas for nearly two minutes.
Does that mean she wants Pacquiao, the first and only eight-division champion in boxing history, to retire?
“You know the answer to that,” she told the interviewer, according to Agence France-Presse. “He knows what I am asking him”.
Pacquiao’s mother Dionisia was more direct in a separate interview on the same network.
“I have long asked you son, it is time to retire because you started boxing at such a young age. I always pray that he will stop. I asked God to tell my son to stop,” she said.
Dionisia had previously blamed Pacquiao’s defeat — his first by way of knockout since 1999 — on the religious recommitment he’s undergone over the past year, attributing his lost sleep to late-night Bible studies with “Protestant pastors.”
“That’s what he gets for changing his religion,” she said, a quote that led a front-page story in Monday’s Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Pacquiao turns 34 on December 17. He’s amassed a record of 54 wins, six losses and two draws with 38 knockouts since turning pro as a 106-pounder in 1995.
– Bryan Armen Graham