LOS ANGELES, March 4 – Manny Pacquiao doesn't know if his March 13 welterweight world title clash with Joshua Clottey in Dallas will be his last, but if it is, he'd like to go out with a bang.Then again, Pacquiao says he always wants to provide some fireworks for the fans.
"For me as a fighter I have a big responsibility not only for myself and my family, but I have to give a good fight, more action, give enjoyment to the people," Pacquiao said amid the crush at trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym in Hollywood on Wednesday.
"I don’t want them to say it’s boring."
Pacquiao, 50-3 with two drawn and 38 knockouts, will defend his World Boxing Organization title against Ghana’s Clottey, 35-3 with 21 knockouts, at the spectacular Cowboys Stadium – the billion-dollar home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys that opened last year.
The bout will be on the same date that Pacquiao was expected to face unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather, before negotiations ended in acrimony.
Mayweather is now booked to face fellow American Shane Mosley on May 1.
The collapse of the highly anticipated Mayweather bout, and Pacquiao’s run for a congressional seat in his native Philippines, has sparked talk that this could be the 31-year-old Filipino’s last fight.
"I don’t know," Pacquiao said Wednesday with a small smile. "I can still fight."
But Roach acknowledged that Pacquiao’s last bell could be approaching.
"You know, it could be," Roach said.
"The thing is, if Mayweather or Mosely – depending who wins that fight – doesn’t come on board to fight us, who else is out there to fight right now?
"Mayweather’s the fight the world wants to see. I feel if he doesn’t come to the table, maybe if Manny wins the election and gets into politics and gets busy in politics it could be his last fight, yes.
"I don’t think so, but it could be."
Promoter Bob Arum said it would all depend on Pacquiao.
"If he wants it to be his last fight it’ll be his last fight. It’s completely up to Manny," Arum said. "Sure, I’d love him to keep fighting because he’s at the top of his game."
Added Roach: "I think Bob Arum wants to introduce him at the Mayweather fight as ‘Congressman Pacquiao.’"
But first, there’s Clottey, who has vowed to be more than simply a fill-in fighter destined to fall to the Philippines’ powerhouse.
Roach and Pacquiao say they have been working on a strategy to tackle the defensive-minded Clottey.
"We have been working on that quite a bit," Roach said, adding that if Clottey goes too far into a defensive shell, he can’t win the fight.
"You’ve got to throw punches to win the fight," Roach said.
"I know that Clottey is a very good defensive fighter, but we have a technique for his style," Pacquiao said.
That’s what Pacquiao will be thinking about until March 13 – and not the mega-fight that might have been.
"Right now I don’t want to talk about Floyd because he has an upcoming fight and I have a fight, too," Pacquiao said. "I think what we need to do is focus on our fights."