Low-key return as injured Pacquiao says retirement ‘near’
Manny Pacquiao made a low-key return to the Philippines on Wednesday after losing his mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather and said retirement was drawing closer as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
Few signs of Pacquiao’s early-morning arrival were visible at Manila airport, and he was later welcomed by modest crowds as he paraded the capital on the back of a flatbed truck.
It was very different from previous joyous homecomings for the eight-weight world champion and congressman, whose fights bring the Southeast Asian country to a standstill.
A smiling Pacquiao, his right arm supported by a black sling, told reporters he hadn’t yet decided on his future after his May 2 defeat by unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
“I will focus first on healing my shoulder. After that, I will announce continuing my career or announcing retirement,” Pacquiao said.
“I’m not saying I am going to retire, but it’s near. I’m already 36, turning 37 this December.”
Pacquiao said it could take six months to recover from the operation on his torn rotator cuff, which he underwent days after what was billed as the “Fight of the Century”.
The American called Pacquiao a “sore loser” for blaming the injury for his defeat, and the Filipino is facing a law suit which claims he fraudulently concealed the problem.
Asked about a possible rematch with Mayweather, Pacquiao said: “I (would) like that. I want that. But my focus right now is my shoulder, my work as a congressman and my family.”