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Manny Pacquiao to retire too? Klitschko decision looms large

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Manny Pacquiao and Wladimir Klitschko had a lot in common last moth.

Pacquiao and Klitschko: The similarities
They were both fight legends who lost winnable title bouts earlier this year. Moreover, both fighters had rematch clause and, immediately following their respective bouts, insisted they would exercise them.


Wladimir Klitschko retired today.

Prospects were so high Wlad would face Joshua again in the fall, the usually-reliable BoxRec.com confirmed Klitschko vs Joshua for November 11.

But perhaps his decision should come as no surprise? The heavyweight great, for months, had been waffling on his decision to return. First, he wanted the rematch and then retirement seemed like the better choice... And then he wanted the rematch again.

Ultimately, he decided to hang ‘em up.

Enter Manny Pacquiao.

Although it has only been a month since he was controversially upset by Jeff Horn, Team Pacquiao has yet to confirm Manny will definitely return.

And yes, immediately following the Horn fight Manny insisted he'd exercise the rematch clause but, as Wladimir Klitschko would attest, it's easy to get caught up in the moment.

Pacquiao and Klitschko: The differences
As we stated above, prior to Wlad's decision to retire, he and Manny were, in some ways, linked by similar situations. However, they were in very different scenarios as well.

Despite losing to IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua in April, Wladimir Klitschko's stock rose. Not only was it one of his best performances in his career, the fight was one of the greatest in heavyweight title history. As a result, Wlad left the game on a high note and his epic battle salvaged a successful career than had been marred by his overly cautious style. However, should Pacquiao refuse a rematch with Horn and opt to retire, he will have exited boxing with a bad taste in his mouth.

While Klitschko was knocked out by the world's best heavyweight in non-controversial fashion in a fight for the ages, Pacquiao was controversially defeated in a messy fight by an opponent who may not even be a top 10 welterweight.

Given what took place in their previous bouts, Wlad was right to retire and Manny will most definitely face Horn again, right?

Not quite...

Keep in mind, Wladimir, unlike Manny, was a full-time boxer and wasn't consumed by another vocation. While he dabbled in business pursuits, he did it freely and on his own time. Manny, on the otherhand, has serious obligations and political aspirations which may ultimately force him to announce his decision to leave boxing later this summer.

What makes Manny's decision a little tougher than Wlad's is the fact his chances of dominating Horn in a rematch and exiting the sport as a world champion are much better than Klitschko's of upsetting Joshua.

Will Klitschko's decision impact Manny's?
I don't think Klitschko's decision to forego his rematch and retire will change Pacquiao's thought processes. However, given their somewhat similar situations, the Pacquiao needle just edged closer to retirement following Wlad's announcement.

From a pure 'odds' standpoint, we now must seriously consider that Manny might come to the same conclusion. And the longer this drags out, the more likely it is Manny will waive his right to a rematch with Horn and retire.

My thoughts
If the money is right, I'm convinced Pacquiao will face Horn again. Hence, PacMan might choose to forego a return match if his guarantee is less than $10 Million. So, if it's a lucrative endeavor, he'll see a rematch as an opportunity to not only redeem himself but use his earnings to help others via charity.

And should he decide to face Horn again, he must find a way to, somehow, better juggle his senatorial responsibilities and boxing for a few more months...

No easy task.


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