The recent news that Errol Spence Jr. is forced to miss his welterweight championship superfight against the legendary Manny Pacquiao was a downer for most boxing fans, especially when one factors in the likelihood that Pacquiao will be retired by the time the American recovers from his torn retina.
'Pac-Man' and longtime trainer Freddie Roach have maintained for over a year that 2022 will be the year Pacquiao's political career in Philippines takes centre stage, and with the former eight-weight world champion now 42, there certainly doesn't seem to be room for many more fights.
"One or two" in 2021 was Roach's assessment last year at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with Pacquiao set for Las Vegas on Aug. 21 against Spence replacement Yordenis Ugas, there may not be time for the "two" after the "one".
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Pacquiao admitted as such in a recent interview with Betway Insider USA, explaining: “Everything is at stake as this might be my last fight. I might as well finish the race with a spectacular performance.
"Legacies are subjective to the minds of the fans. Of course, a win for me after so long out would be very grand for my country and family."
"I feel great. My team has full confidence in my capabilities even at 42 years old and they note that I still have what it takes to face elite caliber opponents. Although the recuperation period of a 42-year-old may not be the same as a 25-year-old fighter, I still love what I am doing. I'm enjoying training and I'm learning more about myself everyday.
"Everything is top secret, of course. I'm training and challenging myself daily and I am inspired to perform at my best owing to the fact that this might be my last fight. I've never given predictions. I always climb the ring ready and prepared for everything."