Manny Pacquiao retirement rumors 2016: What lies ahead for Pacquiao after closing boxing career?

(REUTERS/Janis Alano)Manny Pacquiao

Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley Jr. as expected via unanimous decision, claiming to have fought his last match in the ring.

Pacquiao showed his vintage form and displayed no signs of rust after undergoing surgery for his right shoulder. It was also his first match since bowing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May, 2015.

With the third meeting offering the same result, Pacquiao now hangs up his boxing gloves as he focuses on his political ambitions. He is expected to turn his attention to political campaigning in the Philippines as he aims to land a senatorial seat in the Philippine national elections which takes place on May 9.

But is it really the end of Pacquiao's career?

Prior to the fight, Pacquiao was reportedly having second thoughts of retiring and mentioned that he would think about it. When the smoke cleared, Pacquiao would not touch on the matter of going back on his word though many feel that he would consider fighting again in the future.

The Sarangani congressman is unlikely to reconsider the issue until he sees the results of the May polls. Pacquiao is still expected to make it to the magic 12 despite receiving backlash for his celebrated stance on same-sex marriage.

Assuming he does win, it gets more interesting. Should he become senator, the question of having the time to train and face other world-class fighters will emerge. 

Pacquiao has been hit for his poor attendance in congress and landing a senate position will have more eyes on him. Given that and the fact that his time is bound to be eaten up by such, will the Filipino boxer have enough time to compete?

Assuming he does, there is only one name that can draw him out – Floyd Mayweather Jr. But recall that the undefeated American boxer who retired back in September has reiterated his stance. He has no interest in getting back in the ring and facing someone who he clearly defeated back in May.

Right now, it is touch and go. No one knows what Pacquiao has in mind – not even his team.

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