MANILA, Philippines – A rejuvenated Manny Pacquiao is taking it "one fight at a time" after putting on a superb performance last month against the erstwhile undefeated Keith Thurman.
This, according to MP Promotions chief Sean Gibbons who was the guest at the PSA Forum on Tuesday at the Amelie Hotel in Manila.
"I don't want to speak for the senator," Gibbons said when grilled about how many more fights Pacquiao will have in his glittering career.
"From my own personal opinion, we take one fight at a time. So whatever the next fight is, he sets it up. You'll know," he added.
Pacquiao is coming off an impressive outing against Thurman last July 20 in Las Vegas, which saw the "Pacman" floor the younger fighter in the first round en route to a split decision win. That gave Pacquiao the WBA welterweight belt, as Thurman suffered the first loss of his career.
But Pacquiao also took quite a lot of blows from Thurman, who landed 192 power punches on the Filipino star. This has led some to express concern for Pacquiao – including his greatest rival, Juan Manuel Marquez, who said the "Pacman" should consider retirement.
Gibbons, however, made light of the suggestion.
"(Pacquiao) did get caught with a few more that he normally would've, but again, he was fighting an undefeated 30-year-old champion that was an amazing fighter himself, very athletic," said Gibbons.
"I was with the senator after the fight and then the next morning, and he was shadow-boxing, he was jumping around. He could go another 12 rounds," he added. "So, maybe it appeared that he took a few heavy shots, which he did. He took maybe 3 or 4 real clean shots, but at no point did he take a beating."
Gibbons said he would be more concerned if Pacquiao had absorbed great punishment all throughout the fight, but the Fighting Senator was just caught with a "couple of punches."
At the end of the day, it will be up to Pacquiao to decide when to hang up his gloves, Gibbons stressed.
"I've had many discussions with the senator, he's probably the most intelligent person I've spoken to about boxing. About how to prepare, what to do," he said.
"I believe that if he thought, there was any indication that he's taking punches that he had... he felt that he was taking too much, not Buboy, not Freddie Roach, not Sean Gibbons," he added.
"Senator Manny Pacquiao is the most intelligent person I've been around for boxing. He knows when it's time. He'll see it."
That time has not yet come, as Pacquiao intends to return to the ring in early 2020, though he has yet to even think about an opponent.
"(Pacquiao has) been doing it for 25 years, and he still feels very good about doing it at the highest level and giving the fans their money's worth when he fights. I'd like to see him keep winning and just see what happens in 2020," said Gibbons.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.