|Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines attends a post-fight news conference following his majority decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. REUTERS
MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao pulled out a controversial razor-thin triumph against Juan Manuel Marquez in their trilogy bout on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) because relationship rumors are starting to take a toll on the Filipino boxer's performance, a veteran sports analyst said on Monday.
Ronnie Nathanielsz believes that controversies linking Pacquiao to different women are among the reasons why the eight-division world champion nearly lost the match against Marquez.
"The fact remains that it must be a distraction if it's true. Okay, even if it's not true, the publicity must be bothering him, must be getting him down and it also hurts the relationship with Jinkee," Nathanielsz said in an interview on ANC's "Headstart."
"He must settle all these issues because... true or false it puts pressure on him. It puts pressure on his wife and that's not good for their relationship," he added.
Nathanielsz said that aside from infidelity rumors, other commitments such as weekly shows are also starting to affect Pacquiao's boxing performance.
"He's showing signs of decline and it's not because of lack of training... It's because of so many extraneous activities he's involved in," he said.
"His congressional duties, his late nights, his pool (games), his endorsements, his show, that's a debilitating thing."
Pacquiao is currently the congressman of Sarangani province.
Before his fight against Marquez, Pacquiao denied a report saying that his wife, Jinkee, has filed for annulment.