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Boxing | International

Women plead with Manny to retire



Manny Pacquiao shed tears on television on Monday as his wife and mother urged him to retire.

The Filipino hero appeared on national TV, saying he had let his country down in his knockout defeat to Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

"The low morale, the sadness, I accept that. This is my job ... But the reaction of the Filipinos, the many who cried, especially my family, it really hurts me," he said in an interview on the GMA network.

The former eight-division champion wiped tears from his eyes listening to his wife Jinkee make a tearful appeal on camera for his husband, who turns 34 next week, to hang up his gloves.

"When you see your husband get hurt, you cannot even sleep," she said in the interview, conducted in the United States.

Asked if she wanted her husband to retire from boxing, she said: "You know the answer to that. He knows what I am asking him".

Pacquiao's mother Dionisia made a separate appeal on the same station.

"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.

She said she was alarmed by her son's knockout at the hands of Marquez in the sixth round of their non-title fight.

The loss stunned a huge Philippine audience watching the fight live on television.

"I was shocked … the way he suddenly fell," said Pacquiao's mother, who added that, as in previous bouts, she had watched only a recording because she could not bear to watch her son's fights live.

But while moved by the women's entreaties, Pacquiao remained non-committal on calls for his retirement.

"I don't want to hurt my family and the people who support them," was all he would say about his future plans.

"I am OK. I just got overconfident. That is part of the game. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose."

Pacquiao said immediately after the loss that he intends to fight again.

But there have been questions about Pacquiao's focus in recent years as he has had to deal with his duties as a congressman, host of a television game show and as pitchman for various products.

He has also been a preacher, though he insists his religion has not dulled his killer instinct in the ring.



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