After winning the final fight of his career, Christian boxing great Manny Pacquiao gave all glory to God and revealed he plans to spend his retirement serving his fellow Filipinos.
On Saturday night, the 37-year-old fighter defeated rival boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. in Las Vegas. NPR reported that the fight was won by unanimous decision from the judges, with all three scoring the match 116-110 in favor of Pacquiao.
"Through thick and thin. Always by my side no matter what. To God be the glory," the Christian boxer wrote on Twitter after his win.
When asked about his future plans, Pacquiao, who is a former eight-division world champion with 58 wins in his career, told ESPN: "As of now I am retired. I am going to go home and think about it, but I want to be with my family. I want to serve the people [of the Philippines]."
The boxer also admitted to reporters that his family wanted him to retire from boxing more than he wanted to retire.
"In my heart I'm 50-50," he said. "But I love my family, and I won't hurt my family, my kids. I don't know, I might enjoy my retired life or I might want to come back. It's hard to say because I'm not there yet. But right now, my decision is to retire."
Pacquiao told the news outlet he intends to retire to a "life of charitable work and politics in the Philippines, where he is a two-term congressman running for a senate seat." The report notes that the election is next month, and he is favored to win one of the 12 seats up for election.
However, boxing promoter Bob Arum suggested that Pacquiao's retirement from boxing may be temporary: "He's torn...His wife wants him to retire. He's running for office, and if he wins, which he will, there will be tremendous responsibilities that go with it," Arum told ESPN.
Arum said that Pacquiao may require a "big payday" in the future, as the boxer is looking to build hospitals and help his country in a number of ways. Last year, he reportedly spent P28.5 million, or about $604,000, of his own money to supply homes in Bales village, Maasim town, and plans to build a total of 600 units.
"He doesn't have money problems now, but of course he's going to have money problems if he's going to be building hospitals out of his own pocket instead of letting the [Philippines] government build the hospitals," Arum said, according to ESPN.
He also told the news outlet that Pacquiao continues to show endless generosity to his country even though his advisers have tried to convince him that he cannot support an entire nation on his own.
"People care about this kid," Arum said. "And Manny politely listens to everybody and then does what he wants. He has no advice that he will accept."
Speaking to PhilBoxing.com, Tino Alcala, chair of Bales village, praised Pacquiao for his unparalleled generosity and willingness to sacrifice his own comfort for those in need.
"This is the kind of leader we're looking for. Unlike other congressmen, who disappeared and could no longer be seen after election, Cong. Pacquiao is always there every time we need him," Alcala said. "Pacquiao makes us feel government is taking good care of us."