Manny Pacquiao sounded like a fighter who was on his way out, and a politician who is on his way up.

He might have concealed his battered face behind big sunglasses, but Pacquiao didn’t hide behind excuses or denial after a discouraging unanimous-decision loss to Yordenis Ugas on Saturday night.

Yes, Pacquiao admitted that his legs were cramped during the fight at the Vegas Strip. This deprived him of the mobility that has made his power so powerful.

The champion in eight divisions acknowledged that Ugas was a skilled opponent and wouldn’t have been a problem for prime Pacman, but he deserved the loss.

This might be a reason to leave.

Pacquiao stated, “This sport is my passion.” “That’s why at 42 I am still fighting. It’s a great experience. But sometimes, you need to consider the body’s response. It’s 100% in my mind, my heart, and it’s 100% in my head. My legs were cramping.”

Pacquiao hinted repeatedly that he was planning to quit boxing in the moments following his return from a two year absence from the ring.

Canelo Alvarez and Pacquiao are still the most active fighters in the sport. But Pacquiao (67-8-2), has never been open about his 26-year career in pro fighting.

Pacquiao stated, “I have done a lot of boxing, and it has done a lot to me.” “I look forward spending a lot more time thinking about my future with boxing.”

Pacquiao’s postfight remarks included a sprinkle of prewritten catchy phrases — kind of like a stump speech given by a politician.

The next fight for the senator from Philippines is likely to be in the political arena: It is widely believed that he will enter the Philippine presidential race next month, just before the May 2022 elections.

Pacquiao stated, “In my heart I want to keep fighting,” “But the truth is, I have to also consider my body. It’s been through many things. There are many things I can do to help people, especially back in my home country. I want to inspire the Filipino people both inside and outside of the ring.

Many athletes have struggled to find meaningful ways to spend their retirement years. Pacquiao wouldn’t have any problems with that: While his chaotic life will not get easier, it can be a little more focused if he has only one career.

Pacquiao will be remembered as one of the greatest boxers of his generation if he retires. In addition to his impressive collection of championship belts, his remarkable mobility across all weight classes, Pacquiao’s fearlessness when taking on larger opponents without blinking will be remembered.

Freddie Roach was Pacquiao’s faithful trainer for the majority of the past 20 years and admitted to being “a little concerned” about the champ.

Roach stated, “He’s boxed a long time and he’s one of the best guys I’ve ever known.” Roach said, “The best man, the best fighter. It’s hard to imagine him retiring, but it could happen. We’ll wait to see what Manny decides.”

Another possibility seems plausible: Pacquiao does not win the presidency within nine months. He is behind many candidates in early polling. Then he gets a highly lucrative chance to return to the ring in the second half of next year, when his age will be almost 44.

The fight game could help Pacquiao overcome his competitive nature and expensive lifestyle.

Pacquiao thought deeply about his future and current situation in the hours following this cramping.

Pacquiao stated that “this situation could end my career in boxing.” “But, this is my message to all boxing fans around the world: It is important that we all help one another, especially in this pandemic.”