In a span of a week, Manny Pacquiao saw two of his main career rivals ride off into retirement.
Last Friday, former four division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez announced his retirement. A day later, two division world champion Tim Bradley announced his own retirement from boxing.
Pacquiao had three fights with Bradley and four fights with Marquez.
Pacquiao lost a very controversial twelve round split decision to Bradley in June 2012. He dominated Bradley in their 2014 rematch and once again dominated the California fighter, scoring two knockdowns, when they met in their 2016 trilogy bout.
With Marquez, they went to a twelve round draw in 2004, with Pacquiao winning razor close decisions in their next two bouts, in 2008 and 2011. Because of the controversial nature of their third fight, with many believing that Marquez had won, a fourth bout took place in 2012 - and saw Pacquiao get knocked out cold in closing seconds of the sixth round.
“I wish both of them well. They were great fighters during their prime,” said Pacquiao to the Philippine Star. “May God bless both of them and their families."
Marquez and Bradley leave the sport with respective records of 56-7-1 (with 40 KOs) and 33-2 (with 13 KOs).
Pacquiao, 38 years old, is also nearing his time to retire. The majority of Pacquiao's past opponents have already retired from boxing.
Last month, Pacquiao lost a twelve round decision to huge underdog Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia. While many felt Pacquiao had done enough to win, his performance was very lackluster. There is an immediate rematch clause, which Pacquiao has exercised, and their mutual promoters are targeting a date in November. Pacquiao's longtime trainer, Freddie Roach, would like to see Pacquiao fight Horn in a rematch and then retire from boxing to focus all of his energy on his full-time position as a senator in the Philippines.