Showbiz “takes a lot of time, a lot of energy. You have to prepare for these shows,” said boxing commentator Ronnie Nathanielsz. “(Pacquiao) loses focus because he has so many things to worry about and attend to.”
Pacquiao was elected to Congress from his southern Sarangani province in 2010, and has announced he will run for re-election next year. Taking a cue from his political allies, he appears to be building a political organization, with his wife, Jinkee, running for vice governor, and younger brother, Rogelio, for congress in neighboring South Cotabato province.
In the meantime, he promised to clean up his act: no more gambling, drinking and womanizing, and took up preaching the Bible. Some called it a public relations stunt for a budding politician, but Pacquiao insisted it was for real.
“To those who think that way, let us leave them be. I will pray for them. Even Jesus Christ, even after he performed miracles, no one believed him, what more for a sinner like me,” he said, adding he did not want to be a pastor but share how “the Lord changed my life.”
Then came the first blow: a controversial decision awarding his June fight to Timothy Bradley. Questions arose if Pacquiao was showing the wear of 17 years in the ring, and whether the distractions catching up with him.
Saturday’s loss to Marquez, whom he had beaten twice and drawn once, only made the question more urgent, although Pacquiao made no mention of a possible retirement.
“Among boxers, they don’t have the word retirement in their dictionary. It’s so hard to admit that all of sudden it’s over, especially for Pacquiao,” Tolentino said.
“His demotion was from the penthouse to the doghouse,” he added. “I think really there has to be a lot of soul searching. … He has to consult his family, his real entourage.”
Associated Press writer Oliver Teves contributed to this report.