While eight-division title holder Manny Pacquiao may have been cleared of any ailment, including Parkinson's disease, his surprise defeat in 2012 to Juan Manuel Marquez are indicators that he has to think of the inevitable - hanging up his boxing gloves.
The odds are against him now considering that he is in his 30s, has a lot of distractions to his boxing career and the opposition of his family for him to step into the ring again.
While speculations continue if Pacquiao will have one or two fights in 2013, here are 7 career options that the Filipino boxing champion may want to consider. These options are not really new to him for he already has his other foot on these career alternatives.
1. Politician - Pacquaio is actually congressman for the province of Sarangani, the hometown of his wife Jinkee. He initially attempted to run for congressman in his hometown, General Santos City, but lost. There are reports that Pacquiao plans to run for governor of Sarangani. While his boxing career is stellar, Manny's definitely a greenhorn in politics, espousing unpopular causes like taking the Catholic Church's stand against the reproductive health bill.
Here is a clip of Pacquiao's first privileged speech as congressman.
2. Soldier - The boxer is a military reservist and holds the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Reserve Force of the Philippine Army. His rise in ranks appear to be linked with his zooming boxing career, starting as a sergeant in April 2006, he became technical sergeant after eight months and master sergeant after 10 months. After less than two years, he was given the special rank of senior master sergeant and designated command sergeant major of the 15th Ready Reserve Division.
Celebrities serving in the military are quite rare, with rock and roll king Elvis Presley and Korean pop star Rain as among the few examples. However, his role may be limited to being an inspirational model to Filipino troops as seen in this video.
3. Preacher - From a playboy life being linked with several starlets and a frequent visitor of casinos and cockpits, Manny made a 180-degree turn when he joined a group of born-again Christians. Although he has been known to being a devout Roman Catholic and openly attended Mass and made the sign of the cross before a fight, his joining non-Catholic groups caught the ire of his mother. Not only has Pacquiao sold his shares in gambling businesses, he has also started to share how God's word has changed his life.
4. Singer - Although he has a strong regional accent, that does not prevent Manny from singing English, Pilipino and Visayan songs. Like many Filipinos who love the microphone, Pacquiao would sing his heart out at karaokes and even holds mini concerts after his boxing matches. He is more than a bathroom singer but has quite a good singing voice and even has a No. 7 hit on Billboard - a remake of the 1977 hit song Sometimes When We Touch with singer/songwriter Dan Hill.
5. TV host - Manny actually hosts a local game show on Philippine television titled Manny, Many Prizes. The show, which is occasional broadcast from overseas, is popular because of the valuable prizes it offers contestants, the bulk of which come from Pacquiao's personal wealth. The show features not only Manny's emceeing skills but is an opportunity for him to sing and dance as well.
6. Actor - Manny produced and starred in two Filipino moves that competed in the yearly film festival held during the Christmas holidays. However, both movies were KOs for Pacquiao because the two flicks bombed at the tills and were ridden with controversies, particularly Manny's alleged romantic liaisons with his leading ladies.
7. Commercial endorser - This is one career option that Manny can benefit from even after he has retired from boxing by virtue of his being a boxing legend. To date, Pacquiao has done commercial endorsements for a petroleum product, TouchPad, fastfood, beer, milk, vinegar, shampoo, watch, whiskey and shoes.
In this beer commercial, he even shares the limelight with coach Freddie Roach and fellow boxer.
Of course, it should be pointed out that with his millions of dollars in prize money, Manny could afford not to work a single day in his life and enjoy his retirement years in the company of his wife and children.
For now, Pacquiao appears bent on further boosting his retirement kitty by not closing his door on a fifth match with Marquez possibly in April since Top Rank apparently wants to stage the bout during the height of the celebration of Mexican Independence.
Among the names being bandied for his second, and perhaps last boxing bout, are Robert Guerrero, the current WBC welterweight champion and of Mexican descent, and Brandon Rios, former WBA lightweight champion and also an undefeated American-Mexican pugilist.